Natural hazards have the potential to cause property damage, loss of life, economic hardship, and threats to public health and safety. Hazard mitigation measures are the things you do today to be more protected in the future. They are measures taken before a disaster happens to reduce the impact that future disasters will have on people and property in the community. Mitigation reduces the risk of loss and creates a more disaster-resistant and sustainable community. Hazard mitigation measures are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.
The primary goal of the Hazard Mitigation Plan update is to learn from the past five years and reduce potential losses from future storm events and other natural hazards. As part of the update process, county staff from various departments, municipalities, and stakeholders in the community work together to identify risks, quantify those risks, assess existing County and Municipal capabilities, and create a strategy and actions to reduce vulnerability.
Mercer County initiated the process for development of its initial Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2013. Federal regulations (44 CFR 201.6.d.3) requires that local hazard mitigation plans be reviewed, revised as appropriate, and resubmitted for approval on a five year cycle from the date of initial plan adoption in order to remain eligible for benefits awarded under DMA 2000. The County's latest plan was approved by FEMA on September 16, 2016 and will expire on September 16, 2021.
All 13 of the County’s municipalities participate qualifying them for project grants under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs, including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, the Pre-Disaster Mitigation, and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs.