Public Input Sought For Multi-County Hazard Mitigation Plan

The public is encouraged to attend a meeting to help with the formation of the Antelope, Holt, and Knox Counties Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. There will be three such meetings where identicial information will be presented:
• Tuesday, April 21 – O’Neill – 2:30 p.m. at the Holt County Courthouse (Board of Supervisors Meeting Room) – 204 North 4th Street
• Tuesday, April 21 – Center – 6:30 p.m. at the Knox County Courthouse (Lower Level Conference Room) – 206 Main Street
• Wednesday, April 22 – Neligh – 6:30 p.m. at the Antelope County Courthouse – 501 ‘M’ Street
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plans before any local governmental entity can receive funding for pre-hazard mitigation projects or post-hazard clean-up and damage repair. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds are administered by the State. FEMA describes the process this way
“During the recovery phase of a disaster, local jurisdictions select projects that could reduce property damage from future disasters, and submit grant application to the State. Indian Tribes and certain non-profit organizations can also apply, and local governments can apply on behalf of individual property owners. The states administer the HMGP Program. They establish mitigation priorities for the State, facilitate the development of application, and submit applications to FEMA based on State criteria and available funding.”
Some FEMA regulations have changed since 2010, and Antelope, Holt, and Knox Counties are continuing the update of their plan to make sure that all jurisdictions and counties participate and are included in the plan, that time allows for ample public education and feedback, and that the latest technology in predicting the benefits of mitigation activities is utilized. Through hazard mitigation planning, local entities are able to identify their individual risks and hazards, come up with possible eligible projects to minimize those risks, and then implement such plans to provide protection for lives, structures, resources, and critical infrastructure.
The public’s involvement and cooperation in this joint regional planning effort is critical to make this the most effective and beneficial plan for our whole area. FEMA guidelines state that HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem – for example, elevating a home to reduce the risk of flood damage, as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood.
Example of projects include, but are not limited to acquiring, demolishing, or elevating flood-prone structures, retrofitting structures and facilities to minimize damage from high winds, earthquake, flood, wildfire, or other natural hazards, creating community and individual storm shelter programs, developing and initially implementing vegetative management programs, designing minor flood-control projects that do not duplicate the flood-prevention activities of other federal agencies, and adding public awareness campaigns, enhanced hazard information systems, or enhanced warning capabilities.
Persons having questions should contact: Cathy Pavel at; Laura Hintz at; Char Carpenter at; or Amy Vrtiska-Vorhies with Olsson Associates at