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Hazard Mitigation

The Broome County Department of Planning and Economic Development is leading a project to update the County-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).  This plan is required by state and federal agencies in order for communities in Broome County to be eligible for certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects.  The ultimate goal of hazard mitigation is to reduce loss of life and property, lessening the impact of disasters. 

This webpage will be used throughout the planning process to post information, collect comments, announce meetings, and to post draft and final documents.

We need your help collecting information about hazard impacts in Broome County. Please click the green bubble on the right to take our survey!

What is hazard mitigation?    
What is mitigation planning?   
Hazard Mitigation in Broome County   
How does the plan benefit Broome County?   
What are the different types of mitigation actions?   
How can I participate?
More resources


 

What is hazard mitigation?

Disasters can cause loss of life, damage buildings and infrastructure, and have devastating consequences for a community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being.  Hazard mitigation is any action taken to reduce disaster damages and is defined as an effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters (natural, technological, and man-made).  It is often considered the first of the four phases of emergency management – mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.  Mitigation is an important step in creating a more resilient community.

Outreach programs that increase risk awareness, project to protect critical facilities, and the removal of structures from flood hazard areas are all examples of mitigation actions.  Local mitigation actions can also be incorporated into land use plans and building codes.  When combined, it leads to developmental patterns that do not increase risks from known hazards or leads to redevelopment that reduces risk from known hazards.

Local governments have the responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their residents.  Proactive mitigation policies and actions help reduce risk and create safer, more disaster-resilient communities.  When a community is more resilient, it has the ability to adapt to changing conditions and prepare, withstand, and rapidly recovery from a disaster.

What is mitigation planning?
Mitigation is most effective when it is based on a comprehensive, long-term plan that is developed before a disaster occurs.  The purpose of mitigation planning is to identify local policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future losses from disasters.  Section 322 of the Disaster Mitigation Action of 2000 (DMA 2000) specifically addresses mitigation planning and requires state and local governments to prepare multi-jurisdictional mitigation plans as a precondition for receiving FEMA mitigation project funding.  Benefits of mitigation planning include: 
    • Identifying actions for risk reduction
    • Focusing on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities within a community
    • Building partnerships by involving residents, organizations, and businesses
    • Increasing public education and awareness of threats and hazards
    • Communicating priorities to state and federal officials; and
    • Aligning risk reduction with other community objectives
   
Hazard Mitigation in Broome County
Through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Broome County Department of Planning and Economic Development is leading the effort to update the current County HMP.  The current plan identifies natural hazards of concern in our region, assesses our specific vulnerabilities to those hazards, and seeks to identify projects and measures that may reduce damages from future hazards.  This update will look at the existing hazards of concern and identify any additional hazards of concern for Broome County. The plan update will serve as the plan for Broome County government, as well its 24 municipalities in the county who have opted to participate in this cooperative planning effort.Each participating jurisdiction will have its own chapter (or annex) of the overall plan.

Click here to view the 2013 Broome County Hazard Mitigation Plan.   

How does the plan benefit Broome County?
A HMP will assist Broome County and its jurisdictions with the following:
    • An increased understanding of the natural hazards the County faces.
    • Development of more sustainable and resilient communities.
    • Eligibility for federal funds for pre-disaster mitigation planning before disaster strikes.
    • Potential financial savings to residents, including flood insurance premium reductions.
    • Reduced long-term impacts and damages to human health and structures, and reduced repair costs.
  
What are the different types of mitigation actions?
There are four primary types of mitigation actions to reduce long-term vulnerability and include:
    •  Local Plans and Regulations – plans, policies, or codes that influence the way land and buildings are developed and built
    • Structure and Infrastructure Projects – upgrading existing structures and infrastructure to protect them from a hazard or remove from hazard area; constructing manmade structures to reduce the impact of hazards
    • Natural Systems Protection – minimize damage and losses and preserve/restore the functions of the environment
    • Education and Outreach Programs – inform and education citizens about hazards and ways to mitigate them 

 Common mitigation actions may include the following:

    •  Enforcement of building codes, floodplain management codes and environmental regulations
    • Public safety measures such as upgrades of roadways, culverts and dams
    • Acquisition or relocation of structures, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain
    • Acquisition of hazard prone lands in their undeveloped state to ensure they remain so
    • Retrofitting structures and design of new construction such as elevating a home or building
    • Protecting critical facilities and infrastructure from future hazard events
    • Mitigation, disaster recovery and Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning
    • Development and distribution of outreach materials related to hazard mitigation
    • Deployment of warning systems
    • Drainage system upgrades

How can I participate?
Complete the survey and attend public meetings. During plan development, a series of formal public meetings will be held to solicit public comment and present the draft plan to residents and local officials.  Please check back for the dates of upcoming meetings.
   
More resources 

The resources below provide additional information about hazard mitigation efforts in Broome County. 

2013 Broome County Hazard Mitigation Plan (plan we are updating)

Broome County All Hazards Mitigation Plan (Approved June 2013)

Other Planning Documents

Building Resiliency - Update on efforts in Broome County to become a more flood smart community

Broome County Watershed Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan

Report
Appendix A
Appendix B
      B1-B23 Lower Choconut Creek Watershed
      B24-B634 Thomas Creek/Chenango River Watershed
      B35-B43 Patterson Creek/Susquehanna River Watershed

Broome County Office of Emergency Services - Inoformation about hazard preparedness, communications, response, and others

Broome County GIS and Mapping Services – provides access to a variety of maps and data, including FEMA floodplain boundaries

New York State 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan

NYS DHSES 2017 Local Hazard Mitigation Planning Standards Guide

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning - Information and resources on hazard mitigation planning

FEMA Map Service Center – View and print FEMA flood plain maps

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants – Funding announcements and application materials for municipal hazard mitigation activities