Chatham County is better prepared for disasters with the recent approval of Chatham Emergency Management Agency’s local hazard mitigation plan. The plan is a long-term strategy to reduce the community’s vulnerability to natural disasters. The adopted multi-jurisdictional plan identifies hazards and potential hazards within the county, and creates a framework to help municipal leaders and county officials make decisions that may ultimately protect lives and property.
The plan also outlines a strategy for implementing mitigation projects to help our county become more resilient to natural disasters and lessen the impact of future disasters, along with the costly expenses associated with them.
History shows that the physical, financial and emotional losses caused by disasters can be reduced significantly through hazard mitigation planning. The planning process encourages communities to integrate mitigation with day-to-day decision making regarding land-use planning, floodplain management, site design and other activities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency reviews and approves state, tribal and local hazard mitigation plans, which are required as a condition for states and communities to receive certain types of disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. State mitigation plans must be approved every three years, and local and tribal mitigation plans must be approved at least once every five years. The approval of this plan would not have been possible without out local municipal partners and the public’s participation.