Bismarck, ND - The ND Department of Emergency Services has recently reviewed and updated the state's multi-hazard mitigation plan. North Dakota is required to have a statewide mitigation plan that is reviewed and updated every three years. The plan is available at www.nd.gov/des and the department seeks public comment on the plan. A public forum will be held November 17, 2010 at the ND Association of Counties at 9:00 am.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also reviews the plan and provides approval. An approved plan is a pre-requisite for using federal dollars available for disaster recovery such as the Public Assistance program and the various Hazard Mitigation Grant programs.
Floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and terrorism are only some of the hazards profiled. In total, thirteen hazards are identified in the plan with winter storms, summer storms, drought, and floods identified as the hazards with the greatest potential to cause significant damage and overwhelm communities.
The plan considers many aspects of each hazard such as the probability of it occurring, the potential for the loss of life and property, and possible impacts on the economy. The plan does not stop at profiling hazards, however. It also focuses on long-term initiatives and strategies that could prevent or reduce future losses. Most of the initiatives are projects that can be done in the local communities such as home acquisitions in hazard areas, building code adoption and enforcement, road and drainage improvements, and public education programs. Each of the initiatives relate to at least one of the seven goals listed in the plan. Many communities are eligible to apply for funding through various grant programs offered by the state and federal governments.
Representatives from across the state have been evaluating and updating the plan for several months and encourage the public to provide additional comment. The plan can be read and downloaded at: www.nd.gov/des. Comments are due by January 2, 2011 and can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or ND Department of Emergency Services, PO Box 5511, Bismarck, ND 58506-5511.