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Union County planning team seeks public input

The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Union County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update before it is finalized. The plan includes an updated strategy to reduce damage and losses caused by hazard events. The final draft of the plan will be available online and in hard-copy from July 10 through July 24. The purpose is to provide information to the public on the plan update as well as gain public input.

Taxpayers pay billions of dollars each year for disaster recovery. Some events are predictable, and often, damages can be reduced or eliminated. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires communities to develop an approved local hazard mitigation plan to remain eligible for certain federal funding.

Union County invited representatives from county departments, the incorporated cities, public school districts and other mitigation planning stakeholders to work together to develop this plan update. The planning team addressed 15 hazards – ranging from extreme heat and severe winter storms to tornadoes and flooding – and considered the impacts of these events on local communities. Based on the results of an updated risk assessment of the hazards, team members updated the strategies for their jurisdictions to reduce damages caused by the various hazards. The team consulted with Amec Foster Wheeler, Environment and Infrastructure Inc. to assist with the plan update and ensure the final plan meets federal regulations.

The planning team would like input from the public on the updated strategy to lessen impacts of future disasters on people and property in Union County. The plan will also be concurrently reviewed by the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (IA HSEMD) and then submitted to FEMA for review and approval. Public comments will be considered by the Hazard Mitigation Planning Team and incorporated into the final plan, as appropriate. The final plan must be approved by the governing body of each participating jurisdiction, IA HSEMD and FEMA before becoming official.

From July 10 through July 24, the final draft plan will be available for public review at the following locations:

• Online at www.ucema.org

• In hard-copy during normal operating hours at Union County Emergency Management, 705 E. Taylor St., and Union County Auditor, 300 N. Pine St. No. 2, both in Creston.

For more information on this planning effort, or to provide your comments, contact Jo Duckworth, Union County Emergency Management Coordinator, at 641-782-1622 or via email at ucema@mchsi.com.

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