What is Hazard Mitigation?
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), hazard mitigation is “the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is most effective when implemented under a comprehensive, long-term mitigation plan. State, tribal, and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events.” Typically, natural hazard mitigation describes actions that reduce or eliminate the impact of natural hazards. Wildfires, floods, thunderstorms, high winds, winter storms, and drought are all examples of natural hazards. Actions to reduce the impact of natural hazards fall into four main categories: education and awareness programs; local plans and regulations; natural system protection; and structure and infrastructure projects. Examples of mitigation actions are implementing defensible space around structures, hazardous fuels thinning, drainage improvements, watershed stabilization, and public education campaigns.
Hardin-Pope Counties Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Planning
Research for the Hardin-Pope Counties Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan is underway!
The natural hazard mitigation planning process assists Hardin County, Pope County and the five incorporated jurisdictions to identify the natural hazards that impact each community, analyze the risks, and prioritize actions that can be taken to reduce that risk. Examples of natural hazard mitigation projects are tornado safe rooms, drainage improvements, utility tie-downs, and public outreach. A Committee, made up of representatives from the counties and the incorporated jurisdictions, meets bi-monthly to discuss and develop the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. In June 2024, informational kiosks providing the status of the planning process will be posted in the county libraries and at the Golden Circle Senior Centers. Community members are invited to provide feedback and input during an Open House planned for July 2024, after the Committee prepares the draft plan. After the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide approval of the final draft, each governing body will hold a public hearing for final adoption. Having the approved hazard mitigation plan provides each jurisdiction with a federal government approved and locally adopted plan which will support grant applications to implement natural hazard risk reduction projects. The approved plan is a requirement for FEMA hazard mitigation grant funding and can serve as the planning eligibility requirement for other federal grants like U.S. Forest Service Community Wildlife Defense Grant.
Committee Meeting Minutes
- Hardin-Pope MHMP – Meeting Minutes 10242023
- Hardin-Pope MHMP – Meeting Minutes 12052023
- Hardin-Pope MHMP – Meeting Minutes 02062024
- Federal Emergency Management Agency. Local Mitigation Planning Handbook. Retrieved on: July 11, 2023. Retrieved from: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_local-mitigation-planning-handbook_052023.pdf
- Federal Emergency Management Agency. Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide, Effective April 19, 2023. Retrieved on: July 7, 2023. Retrieved from: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_local-mitigation-planning-policy-guide_042022.pdf