Greenwood County is better prepared for disasters with the recent approval of its local hazard mitigation plan – a long-term strategy to reduce the community’s vulnerability to natural disasters. This plan identifies hazards and potential hazards in the county and creates a framework to help officials make decisions that may ultimately protect lives and property.
The plan also outlines a strategy for implementing mitigation projects in Greenwood County. The County is taking proactive steps to lessen the impact of future disasters and the costly expenses associated with them.
“The approval of our plan is a great thing for our county,” Jamie Parrish, Greenwood County emergency management coordinator, said. “It will help us continue to identify and mitigate potential hazards and provides us with the framework necessary to make decisions that will protect lives and property.”
History shows that the physical, financial and emotional losses caused by disasters can be reduced significantly through hazard mitigation planning. The planning process encourages communities to integrate mitigation with day-to-day decision-making regarding land-use planning, floodplain management, site design and other activities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reviews and approves state, tribal and local hazard mitigation plans, which are required as a condition for states and communities to receive certain types of disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. State mitigation plans must be approved every five years, and local and tribal mitigation plans must be approved at least once every five years.