Natural hazards have the potential to cause property damage, loss of life, economic hardship, and threats to public health and safety. Hazard mitigation measures are the things we do today to be more protected in the future. They are actions taken before a disaster happens to reduce the impact of future hazard events on people and property in the community. Mitigation reduces the risk of loss and creates a more resilient and sustainable community.
The counties of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba, in coordination with their participating municipal jurisdictions, are preparing a regional hazard mitigation plan that will cover the four-county Unifour area. The Unifour Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan will identify local policies and actions for reducing risk and future losses from natural hazards such as floods, severe storms, wildfires, and winter weather.
The plan will also serve to meet key federal planning regulations which require local governments to develop a hazard mitigation plan as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for hazard mitigation projects.
These requirements stem from the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 which was passed by the President in October of 2000. This Act mandates that all states and local governments must have hazard mitigation plans in place in order to be eligible to apply for funding under such programs as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program.
The Planning Process
The planning process for the Unifour Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan will consist of six main phases described in detail in the following sections: public outreach, risk assessment, capability assessment, mitigation strategy development, plan maintenance, and plan adoption.
The goals of the public outreach strategy for this planning effort are to: generate public interest, solicit citizen input, and engage additional partners in the planning process.
Public outreach will include two open public meetings.