We need YOU to help plan for reducing risks from natural disasters

Changes in climate conditions and the rising costs to repair public and private property makes it even more important to consider steps to reduce risks from natural disasters. Local governments, school districts and others prepare a hazard mitigation plan every five years to evaluate their risks and identify actions they may take to mitigate loss of life and property. Over the past year, the region has experienced increasing threats from flooding, severe winter storms, heat and drought, and tornadoes.

As MARC begins our 2019 Hazard Mitigation planning process, it is important to include representatives from all aspects of public service — elected officials, planning and building services, emergency services, environmental planning, public health, public works and transportation, school district and college personnel and more.

For example, transportation is impacted in a natural disaster:

  • Many communities have low water crossings in residential and commercial areas that are prone to flooding from rising streams or flash flooding due to overloaded storm drainage systems.
  • Evacuation routes need to be identified to allow emergency response to take people to safety.
  • Air and freight networks bring supplies and support from other regions.
  • Communication tools like KC Scout share important messages with the public.

This is why we hope to see elected officials, city administrators, emergency managers, public works directors, transportation planners — and you — at an event for developing and implementing a hazard mitigation and community resilience effort.

The keynote speaker is Linda Langston, director of strategic relations at the National Association of Counties (NACo), and former supervisor of Linn County, Iowa. Langston will discuss the importance of hazard mitigation planning and preparing for disasters, why local governments, schools and others should care, and how to approach the planning process with a holistic view.

Workshop topics:

  • What are the hazard mitigation requirements for local plans?
  • Do all jurisdictions face the same challenges?
  • Have the challenges changed over the past five years?
  • How are risks changing with climate change or other conditions?
  • What actions have local governments taken to mitigate hazards and what results did they achieve?
  • Which strategies have proven most effective in mitigating hazards?

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