Document Sample

                STAFF REPORT
               September 14, 2006

                                                                                                    Staff Report
                                                                                              September 14, 2006

The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP) is a requirement of the federal Disaster Mitigation Act
of 2000 which requires communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program to
prepare a comprehensive document addressing hazards that threaten the community. The plan
must be adopted by the Area Plan Commission and its member jurisdictions as an amendment
to the Comprehensive Plan for Tippecanoe County in order to receive future disaster money as
well as grant opportunities to mitigate damage. The plan also includes the Town of Shadeland
and must be adopted by its town council. This is the first plan of its type for Tippecanoe County
and was created through a cooperative process that included representatives from all
jurisdictions as well as non-profits, educational facilities, emergency responders and citizens
with assistance from the staff of Christopher B. Burke Engineering; public input was also
encouraged and received. The plan addresses natural and manmade hazards and provides
mitigation goals for each hazard.

The process began in late 2004 and early 2005 with the selection of a consulting firm and final
selection of planning committee members. Regular meetings with the Planning Committee
were held once a month from April until August. To build background information, the
committee began with a comprehensive look at the community, including population and
development trends, transportation systems, environmental aspects and past hazardous events.
The next step was the identification of critical/essential facilities, which included mapping such
facilities on GIS. The Planning Committee then selected which hazards to study based on this
background information, personal knowledge and additional research. Before working on
mitigation objectives, the Committee also assessed existing plans and regulations to determine
what, if any, mitigation measures existed.

The plan development process provided two opportunities for public input. First, in August of
2005 an on-line survey allowed citizens to identify specific disaster events, what effects those
events had on their lives and property, and how much damage was sustained. Information
obtained from the survey was discussed and distributed to the Planning Committee, helping
shape mitigation goals found in Chapter 5. A draft version of the plan was completed in early
2006 and was distributed to the committee for review. A second opportunity for public comment
followed on March 2, 2006 when Area Plan Commission staff and the Planning Committee held
a public meeting to discuss the draft version of the plan and to gather additional information
about how these hazards affect individuals, property, and the community.

The plan was revised after the public meeting and submitted later that same month to the
Indiana Department of Homeland Security and FEMA for review. Comments from these
agencies were received in June with minor requests for revisions, all of which have been
addressed. The next step in the process is local adoption. Adoption of this plan ensures that
the communities involved are eligible to apply for grants under the Hazard Mitigation Grant
Program and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Act.

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The MHMP begins a new, on-going planning process to identify hazards, at-risk areas and
facilities, and to use the information to make better decisions, on both personal and community
levels. This plan represents a proactive tool to reduce personal and property damage resulting
from natural and manmade events and its implementation will reduce costs to local, state and
federal governments. As a tool, it can be used in future planning to assist community leaders,
government departments and citizens to make informed decisions regarding land use,
transportation and emergency management. Additionally, the plan’s existence ensures a wealth
of readily available information to both local government and area citizens. Annual reviews will
assess the implementation progress and the success of mitigation strategies. Five-year updates
will keep the plan current, provide new opportunities for innovative thinking, allow for inclusion of
additional mitigation projects and ensure that participating communities remain eligible for
disaster funding as well as mitigation grants.


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Plan 2006 | | September 14, 2006