RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Emergency Management Division is helping communities reduce the impact of disasters through its Hazard Mitigation Planning Initiative (HMPI). This effort will help communities include hazard mitigation principles in day-to-day decision-making of local governments. The development of local hazard mitigation plans will reduce the loss of life and property due to natural hazards.
The initiative began following Hurricane Fran in 1996 with the awarding of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to 11 demonstration communities. These communities are the Town of Boone, Carteret County, Craven County, the Town of Elizabethtown, Franklin County, Johnston County, Lenoir County, Mecklenburg County, New Hanover County, Pender County, and the City of Washington.
All 11 communities have since entered into contractual agreements with the state to develop local hazard mitigation plans. When complete, these plans will serve as models for other local communities throughout North Carolina that are planning to incorporate hazard mitigation strategies in their own jurisdictions.
Local mitigation planning activities include:
- the identification and analysis of all hazards that threaten the community;
- an assessment of vulnerable properties and populations;
- an assessment of local capabilities to implement various mitigation programs and policies; and
- the identification and prioritization of feasible mitigation opportunities.
The HMPI effort will continue beyond the 11 demonstration communities. The North Carolina Emergency Management Division is expanding the initiative to additional communities, especially those affected by Hurricane Floyd.
A new state funding policy of the division's mitigation section requires local governments to develop and adopt a local hazard mitigation plan before receiving HMGP funds.
The Division is prepared to provide detailed technical assistance to all local governments upon request as they develop their mitigation plans. For more information about the Hazard Mitigation Planning Initiative, contact Darrin Punchard at 919-715-9195.
The registration period for disaster assistance ends Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.