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Public input sought on county’s hazard mitigation plan

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Public input sought on county’s hazard mitigation plan

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Tompkins County, along with its 16 municipal partners, welcomes public review and comment on the draft 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) Update. Revised every five years to reflect changes in priorities and progress in local mitigation efforts, the HMP identifies natural hazards the county can expect to face and develops strategies to reduce risk and build resilience.  

The 2021 HMP, facilitated by the Tompkins County Department of Planning & Sustainability, updates the county’s 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan and is a key implementation piece for the larger Tompkins County Resiliency and Recovery Plan.

Once approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the plan ensures Tompkins County and its partners remain eligible for pre-disaster funding through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs and other non-emergency disaster assistance like FEMA's new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program. 

Examples of grant-eligible projects include home acquisitions or elevations —to either remove houses located in the floodplain to generate open space and increase flood storage or to raise their first floor above the FEMA base flood elevation — and local flood control measures.

Mitigation planning creates safer communities, saves money, and helps individuals to recover more quickly and efficiently from disasters.  As part of the 2021 Update, the County and its partners profiled hazards of concern and their potential consequences for Tompkins County and its municipalities, identified assets that are subject to losses or damage, and estimated the potential losses that could result from each type of hazard. The county and its municipalities have also developed a mitigation strategy that includes the identification of hazard mitigation goals as well as a prioritized list of actions designed to reduce losses.

The county is now asking community members to contribute further to the planning process by reviewing the draft plan and submitting comments. All feedback provided will be reviewed by municipal, state, federal and county entities and incorporated into the final plan where appropriate.  

The full, updated HMP is available for public review and comment at https://www2.tompkinscountyny.gov/planning/climate-adaptation through Friday, April 30. 

Following the public comment period, the plan will go to New York State for preliminary approval and then to FEMA for final approval in accordance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The approved plan is then brought to the Tompkins County Legislature for local approval and adoption.

Additional information about the Tompkins County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update and the planning process is posted at https://www2.tompkinscountyny.gov/planning/climate-adaptation.

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