Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Update Underway To Improve Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Fulton County, Georgia

/PRNewswire/ -Georgia's most populated county, home to just over a million residents and the state's largest city, is updating its FEMA-required hazard mitigation plan for local review and adoption in mid-December of this year and subsequent approval by FEMA. An approved hazard mitigation plan will allow cities to leverage federal hazard mitigation grant funds.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan update project is being managed by Calvin, Giordano &Associates (CGA), a consultant to the Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, whose authority covers 14 cities as well as unincorporated Fulton County.

Nearing the halfway point, CGA planners are currently evaluating vulnerable structures and populations in Fulton County that are at risk from a variety of natural hazards known to threaten the area. Participating municipalities include Atlanta, Milton, Roswell, Mountain Park, Sandy Springs, East Point, College Park, Union City, Fairburn, Palmetto, Chattahoochee Hills and Hapeville.

CGA, according to the lead planner Beth McElroy, is conducting up to four joint planning meetings with the municipalities and the county in order to reevaluate the hazard vulnerability analysis, identify shortfalls, obtain critical information from new cities, assess any new areas that might need to be addressed in the planning process, refine/enhance the annual update committee review process and revise goals and objectives.

McElroy said as a result of growth and other recent changes since the plan was initially implemented in 2004, an assessment and reevaluation of the county's risks and vulnerabilities is necessary. This ensures that steps are taken to protect the community from the dangers posed by natural hazards and ensure that new growth takes steps to incorporate mitigative actions into future growth and infrastructure planning.

"Also since the last plan was completed, four cities have incorporated within Fulton County," McElroy added. "The task is to integrate the information from the more recent assessments with data from the planning sessions and to refine and enhance the current plan for final FEMA approval."

All documents and reports created for the county must comply with state and federal mitigation rules and requirements, federal planning requirements and project management capabilities.

CGA's Emergency Management Services Division provides local governments with multi-hazard disaster planning, response, recovery and mitigation services. The division enhances the preparedness level of clients in order to protect human lives, restore services and better manage response resources.

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