MONTICELLO – Sullivan County recorded over $6.6 million in damages from floods between 1996 and 2018. Add in around another half-million-dollars if you include hurricane damages.
“Flooding is our number one natural hazard, but it’s not the only one, which is why we have been utilizing FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Plan process for the past two decades,” said Rick Sauer, the county’s public safety commissioner. “Now we’re updating it, and we want public input on what we call our ‘Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan’.”
In cooperation with the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the University at Albany’s Visualization and Informatics Laboratory, the county is in the midst of updating its hazard response plan so that local communities together identify risks, evaluate vulnerabilities and develop strategies to reduce those risks.
“We’re one of the first four counties in all of New York to develop and publish our plan using the state’s new MitigateNY hazard mitigation planning software. In fact, this is part of the state’s pilot program, so residents and officials can help us chart history by participating,” said Sauer. “Additionally, this plan prepares us for catastrophes and will permit us to access crucial federal and state funds that can offset the economic impacts that follow these disasters.”
Sullivan’s Hazard Mitigation Plan must be updated and approved by FEMA in order for the county and participating jurisdictions (like towns and villages) to be eligible for FEMA grants. The anticipated completion date is January 2021.
The official 30-day public comment period began November 4, and the public is invited to review and comment on the web-based plan at https://sullivan.mitigateny.org.
Specific towns and villages can be accessed via a dropdown menu in the top navigation panel. After review, either fill out the survey on the public comment portion of the website or email your questions, comments, concerns and other feedback to AVAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org.