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Monmouth County is in the process of updating its 2009 Multi Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan after receiving grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan is a documented evaluation of the hazards to which a community is susceptible and the extent to which these events will occur. The plans identify an area’s vulnerability to the effects of natural hazards and the goals, objectives and actions required to minimize future loss of life and property damage. “Hazard mitigation measures are taken today so communities are more protected tomorrow,” said Michael Oppegaard, Coordinator of the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management. “By gathering the data from previous natural disasters, and applying it to what kind of impact a future event would have, helps create a safer and more sustainable community.”

The Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for Monmouth County was initially prepared to meet the requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000). The Act requires all states and local governments to have mitigation plans in place in order to be eligible to apply for certain types of federal disaster mitigation project funding.

In 2009, Monmouth County and its jurisdictions successfully participated in the process and ultimately adopted the plan. After a plan is approved by FEMA, each of its participating jurisdictions must work to implement the hazard mitigation actions that they outlined in their respective mitigation strategies, and participate in a process to update the plan every five years. Monmouth County continues its ‘multi-jurisdictional’ approach by inviting all of the municipalities within the County to continue to participate in this important endeavor. A project kickoff meeting with Monmouth County and participating municipalities will be held on July 31, 2012.

For more information please contact Michael E. Oppegaard, Coordinator, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Management (phone: 732-431-7400; e-mail: moppegaard@mcsonj.org) or Deputy Coordinator, Margaret Murnane-Brooks (phone: 732-431-7400; e-mail: mmurnane@mcsonj.org). Additionally, a Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Planning Page is on the web site at: www.monmouthsheriff.org , OEM link.

“We cannot prevent natural disasters from happening,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “That’s why the continued efforts of a hazard mitigation plan are critical. It will reduce the impact associated with natural hazard events and help maintain public safety throughout Monmouth County.”