CENTREVILLE — As the county examines plans for evacuating areas vulnerable to flooding in cases of hurricanes or surges, the Hazard Mitigation Plan required for all counties was approved during the Tuesday, May 28 meeting.

The unanimous vote to approve the plan is necessary for any county receiving financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Department of Emergency Services Director Scott Haas was joined by Lori Morris, chief of Special Operations, and Jenny Smith of S&S Planning and Design LLC to discuss the importance of having a plan in place for FEMA compliance.

The 14-month process to develop the plan covers “sustaining action to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property.”

The roadmap to evaluating hazards such as weather-related issues must be renewed every five years, according to Smith, but must also be maintained in between the renewal periods. A plan is required for every county by federal law.

“If counties are going to use federal funding, then they need to minimize their risk,” said Smith. “The plan for the county has been reviewed by FEMA and approved. It’s just waiting on adoption by both the county and the municipalities within that jurisdiction. Every dollar we spend on hazard mitigation saves $6 on future disaster losses.”

In-kind grants have fully funded the development of the HMP by a committee of stake holders. Citizens also had their say via an electronic survey available prior to a draft of the plan being prepared for federal review.

Additions to the county HMP included plan integration of other program documents that existed prior to the hazard audit by S&S Planning and Design.

Both a nuisance and road flooding plan were added.

“There is an implementation matrix involved with hazard mitigation,” Smith said. “That was based on the hazards and when that work could be done in the give timeframe since more than one department would be involved.”

More information on the Queen Anne’s County Hazard Mitigation Plan is available at www.qac.org/1328/Hazard-Mitigation.

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