April 13, 2009
Public Invited to Offer Comment for Hazard Mitigation Planning
Oswego County - Oswego County has been awarded a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan for the county and its municipalities.
“This is an opportunity for us to create a detailed plan that will address a variety of potential hazards that could affect citizens throughout the county,” said Legislator Paul Santore, District 16, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee. “The end result can help prevent or lessen the impacts of disasters such as unusually severe snowstorms, ice storms, or wind storms that can strike our area.”
Advance planning of strategies and actions to reduce the loss of life and property in the face of a disaster is part of the hazard mitigation process. The benefits of such a plan include:
“Proactive mitigation leads to sustainable, more cost-effective projects,” said Patricia Egan, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “By contrast, reactive mitigation tends to lead to ‘quick fix’ alternatives. It simply costs too much to address the effects of disasters only after they happen.”
Egan added, “This plan will guide our efforts to eliminate or lessen the effects of a future disaster. It will meet with the federal requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and allow us to seek mitigation funding in the future.”
County-wide participation is also necessary for the final plan to meet FEMA requirements.
A series of “kick-off” meetings will be held for municipalities and others with a role in the planning process. They will outline the tasks and responsibilities involved as well as establish a timeline of the project.
This collaboration demonstrates the commitment of the county and participating municipalities to hazard assessment and risk-reduction.
“It is very important that each municipality in Oswego County contribute to this plan,” said Terry Bennett, emergency services program coordinator with the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “The involvement of officials, the public and other stakeholders in the hazard mitigation planning process is essential. Their input provides local information to the planners; identifies potential risks and impacts; and helps develop, evaluate, and prioritize projects to lessen those effects.”
Other collaborators include the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and consultants Barton & Loguidice, P.C., who will be working with the county and its municipalities throughout this process.
The public is invited to offer comments as part of the process. The meetings will be held across the county at the following locations:
The Oswego County Legislature’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee oversees the Emergency Management Office. In addition to Legislator Santore, the committee includes Vice Chairwoman Linda Lockwood, District 5; and legislators Shawn Doyle, District 3; Mary Flett, District 17; Kevin Gardner, District 13; Margaret Kastler, District 1; and Lee Walker Jr., District 15.
For more information, please call the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 591-9150.
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