News Department

Hunterdon County solicits residents’ input for hazard plan update

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The mission of the Hunterdon County Multi-Jurisdictional Multi-Hazard Plan (HMP) is to identify and reduce community vulnerability to hazards, in order to protect the health, safety, quality of life, environment and economic integrity of the county’s communities, and public input is welcomed, Deputy Director John E. Lanza reported at last weeks Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Commissioner Lanza, the Board’s liaison to the Public Safety Department, said, “Each year the Office of Emergency Management updates the plan to qualify for grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is necessary to retain Hunterdon County’s resiliency against weather related incidents, potential disasters such as chemical spills or train accidents, and assists the county engineers with developing and maintaining larger projects such as bridges, roadways, and other construction jobs.”

“There are six phases in the Hazard Mitigation Plan prior to implementation and hazard mitigation can take many forms, such as capital projects, policies, education and environmental protection. An important part of HMP development is citizen input. The Commissioner Board encourages all interested parties to participate in the citizen survey which gathers information from residents to assist with coordinating activities and reduce the risk of injury and property damage,” Lanza said.

To participate in the survey, click here.

The County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, who also serves as Public Safety Director, Brayden Fahey said, “We continue to work to update the Hunterdon County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Having a FEMA approved HMP is critical to support a robust Emergency Management program. An approved plan allows jurisdictions to pursue federal mitigation grants, which Hunterdon County has done in the past.”

Resources are available from FEMA to help guide the mitigation plan process. Reducing the vulnerability of a community to the effects of disasters and preparing a post-disaster mitigation plan cuts down on time spent recovering from hazards, saving valuable resources for individual homeowners, businesses, and municipalities in Hunterdon.

“The County and our municipalities received approximately $3,000,000 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Funds after Hurricane Sandy which many used to install redundant power systems at critical facilities. Additionally, Hunterdon County recently concluded a $7,000,000 project with Warren County that sought to buyout and demolish severe repetitive loss properties in both counties,” Fahey said.

“This action removes the properties from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and assists homeowners who often have exorbitant flood insurance rates. Under our approved plan, the county also recently submitted a grant application to FEMA for a Flood Mitigation Grant for nearly $1,000,000 to elevate homes that are prone to repeated flooding. In the planning effort there is a role for citizens, businesses, and other organizations, and I encourage everyone visit the county’s website to learn more about this,” Fahey said.

To view the story map which provides information regarding the HMP process, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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