Dane County Begins Update of Hazard Mitigation Plan

June 15, 2015
Stephanie Wilson Miller, Communications Director, 608-267-8823
County Executive

                             Plan Will Evaluate Climate Change Threat for the First Time


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Dane County will update its Hazard Mitigation Plan to include and evaluate climate change threat for the first time.  Forty-one local jurisdictions are partnering to reduce risks of natural disasters that affect our communities. Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans are important steps that communities take to assess the threat of various natural hazards in their area and make decisions on how to best limit the loss of life and property when the disasters occur. On average, each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $4 in avoided future losses in addition to saving lives and preventing injuries.


“The forces of Mother Nature can strike quickly and the more we can do before disasters happen to reduce the potential for damages, the safer our citizens will be,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.  “In recent years, record droughts, historic rains and sweltering heat have all impacted the personal and economic safety of our citizens.  As our changing climate results in a growing number of extreme weather events, it’s important we assess our climate change vulnerabilities and adapt.”


Dane County will for the first time address the threat of natural hazards in light of the region’s changing climate. The hazard planning will examine climate trends and determine their projected impacts on the natural hazards the plan addresses such as flooding and extreme heat. The inclusion of climate change factors in hazard analysis will ensure Dane County takes appropriate steps to protect its citizen’s personal and economic safety through mitigation efforts that consider the changing threat of natural hazards.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires counties to update their plans every five years in order to frequently assess and address the changing threat of natural hazards.  Dane County’s natural hazard mitigation planning effort will be led by its Department of Emergency Management.


“I want to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi for his leadership and the team I have at Emergency Management for their work on the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan,” said Dane County Emergency Management Director Charles A. Tubbs Sr. “All involved are dedicated to the common goal of providing the highest quality public service and safety to the citizens of Dane County.”


The results of a three-year, congressionally mandated independent study to assess future savings from mitigation activities provides evidence that mitigation activities are highly cost-effective.


All sixty-one Dane County cities, towns and villages have been invited to participate in the planning effort that will qualify them for pre and post-disaster mitigation grants from FEMA. In addition to the County-level plan that is being developed, each municipality will have an annex attached to the plan addressing the need for hazard mitigation and the potential steps that can be taken in each community. The plan will require approval by the Dane County Board of Supervisors and FEMA.


The first of five meetings over the next eight months was held last Tuesday.  The next meeting will be scheduled in mid-July.