Dane County Executive Falk Announces Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

March 18, 2005
Lesley Sillaman (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Madison—Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced the introduction of the County’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, which includes an analysis of the potential impacts and action plans for 11 natural disasters that could occur in the County. Specifically, the plan studies extreme cold, drought, flood, fog, hail, extreme heat, lightning, tornado, wildfire, high wind, and winter storms. “This plan identifies steps we can take to minimize damage before a next disaster occurs,” said County Executive Falk. “In just the last year, hundreds of people in our County have been affected by tornados and flooding. This plan identifies potential hazards, and studies their causes and possible impacts, and will help us to protect our citizens and minimize damage the best we can.” All 61 local units of government in the County were invited to participate in the planning process, and thirteen local governments opted to participate. They are, the City of Monona, the City of Stoughton, the Village of Maple Bluff, the Village of DeForest, the Town of Berry, the Town of Deerfield, the Town of Dunn, the Town of Madison, the Town of Springdale, the Town of Springfield, the Town of Sun Prairie, the Town of Vienna and the Town of Westport. "Preparedness is the public's best protection against natural disasters. Through this countywide cooperation, we are planning and preparing to respond to effectively when these unfortunate events occur,” said Supervisor Andy Olsen, chair of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee that will take up the plan. The plan is designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards and includes demographic trends, geographical and vulnerable and critical infrastructure information about the County, a hazard assessment describing the threat of each of the 11 potential natural disasters and major impacts of these hazards, an identification of vulnerable people or facilities and recommendations for action to reduce vulnerability. Some of the recommendations include: · Establishing partnerships with local private entities like insurance companies, builders, material suppliers and architects to encourage property owners to employ hazard mitigation techniques when building or remodeling · Broadening existing partnerships with community support groups and service providers to better prepare for and respond to the needs of vulnerable populations in a disaster · Working with partners to encourage critical and vulnerable facilities to plan for power outages and install back up power supplies · Review the County’s Green Building Policy and consider revisions to include hazard mitigation and sustainability features of new building and remodeling projects · Applying for federal funding to construct tornado shelters in mobile home parks The plan, which was introduced to the County Board Thursday, March 17, has received conditional approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), pending County Board and County Executive approval. # # #