County emergency management seeks input on Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

The county and town have joined forces to prepare an update to the area’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP), which is now open for public input.

Comments from the public will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 16.

According to a press release from Brown County Emergency Management, the MHMP is for Brown County and the Town of Nashville to be able to “assess risk and vulnerability of communities in the county,” which may be affected by known natural, technological, and political hazards.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires communities to update their MHMP every five years in order to be eligible for any future mitigation funding through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Brown County’s MHMP was last updated in 2017.

The intent of the MHMP is to plan for a disaster before it occurs in order to reduce the physical, social and economic impact of that disaster, the press release said.

Topics covered in the update include: an overview of the planning requirements; a summary of the risk assessment and vulnerability analysis; and proposed mitigation projects for prevention, property protection, natural resource protection, emergency services, structural control projects, and public information.

Brown County Emergency Management Director Susan Armstrong explained last week that the MHMP is formulated through a process involving a planning team, consisting of first responders and public health officials, and an outside contractor.

The local planning team and contractor sit down together to identify and prioritize potential hazards that the county and town may face, such as flooding, fires, tornadoes and the like.

To gather the necessary information to form a work plan of mitigation tasks, they scour records of accidents or disasters from the past five years.

“They work with the National Weather Service, they work with zoning and planning, those kinds of things,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong added that the plan update and completion comes at no cost to the county, as the process is funded by grants from FEMA every five years.

After making the plan, Armstrong said the town and county can use the information to apply for federal grants to further prepare for potential hazards.

“This helps us get some grant funding and helps us get some of those mitigation projects that the county or the town may not be able to afford on their own, without some sort of support,” she said.

At this time, there is no public meeting planned for the draft MHMP Update, but the Brown County EMA is looking to hear comments, feedback or suggestions from local residents through phone or email.

“Absolutely any comments that anybody has about it, (we) definitely want that input and that feedback,” Armstrong said.

“It helps us make a plan that is going to have the most impact on the community.”

Give feedback

The draft MHMP Update may be accessed at browncounty-in.gov/165/Emergency-Management.

Comments should be submitted to Armstrong by phone at 812-988-2063 or by email at [email protected]