August 4, 2009
Oswego County Moves Forward With Hazard Mitigation Planning
Oswego County - The Oswego County Emergency Management Office has partnered with many local municipalities and agencies to establish a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan.
These groups include: SUNY Oswego, the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Oswego County Fair Association, the North Shore Council of Governments, the Oswego County Fire Advisory Board, and many area fire departments.
To facilitate the planning process, the county has been divided into three geographic areas. The Northern Work Group includes the towns of Albion, Boylston, Orwell, Redfield, Richland, Sandy Creek and Williamstown along with the villages of Altmar, Lacona, Pulaski and Sandy Creek. The Central Work Group consists of the towns of Amboy, Constantia, Hastings, Mexico, New Haven, Parish and West Monroe as well as the villages of Central Square, Cleveland, Mexico and Parish. The Southern Work Group includes the towns of Granby, Hannibal, Oswego, Scriba and Volney along with the village of Hannibal and the cities of Fulton and Oswego.
Other collaborators include the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and consultants Barton & Loguidice, P.C.
“Earlier this year, Oswego County was awarded a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create a hazard mitigation plan,” said Legislator Paul Santore, District 16, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee. “We recently held our second round of planning sessions with each of the regional groups. The participants are finding that the process is much smoother with input from multiple jurisdictions.”
Establishing a hazard mitigation plan allows the county and participating municipalities to be eligible for future funding from FEMA.
“The participation we have seen throughout the county shows the level of commitment of our residents and local officials have toward proactive mitigation,” said Patricia Egan, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “Developing this plan in compliance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 will benefit residents, businesses and municipalities throughout the county by eliminating or reducing the impact of a future disaster.”
Hazard mitigation planning is the process of determining how to reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property damage resulting from natural or man-made hazards. There are four essential phases to this process: organizing resources, assessing risks, developing a mitigation plan and, finally, implementing the plan and monitoring its progress.
“The three regional groups have just completed the risk assessment phase,” said Terry Bennett, emergency services program coordinator with the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “They have identified potential hazards and estimated the losses that can occur or the impact they could have on their communities.” Bennett continued, “The next step will be to use the information gathered to develop strategies to minimize the effects of these disasters and set our goals and objectives for the overall mitigation plan.”
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 11; 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 315/591-9150.
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