The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 helped bring attention to the need for successful hazard mitigation planning throughout the United States, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive multi-hazard planning at the local level, for both natural and technological events, and the necessity for effective coordination between State and local entities.
Out of this Act, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) interim final rule published in 2002 established local mitigation planning requirements. According to this rule State and local governments are required to develop, submit, and obtain Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approval of a hazard mitigation plan (HMP), completion of which will increase access to funds for local governments and allow them to remain eligible for Stafford Act assistance.
This document, the 2019 Stephens County Hazard Mitigation Plan, serves as that strategy guide for coordinating local efforts in preparation for hazardous events within the county. This plan provides an overview of the hazards that threaten the County, and what safeguards have been implemented, or may need to considered for implementation in the future. It is also a policy and investment tool that builds upon the Local Emergency Response Plan and gives area governments and stakeholders a list of priority actions and mitigation measures to be pursued in order to improve the community’s ability to better prepare for and deal with hazardous events.
The HMP becomes part of the foundation for emergency management planning, exercises, training, preparedness and mitigation within the County, setting the stage for long-term disaster resistance through identification of actions that will, over time, reduce the exposure of people and property to identifiable hazards.