Towns, county considering hazard plan


By Nicholas Elmes - nelmes@civitasmedia.com



Stokes County and all three municipalities are reviewing a new regional hazard mitigation plan.

Stokes County EMS Director Greg Collins presented the plan last week at the Walnut Cove Board of Commissioners meeting, telling the board the new plan would help cut costs for county specific plans and provide a more regional approach to dealing with disasters.

“The focus is for a regional plan,” he said. “We received a grant to pay for a plan to be developed for six counties. Each municipality has to adopt it as well as the county.”

Collins said the plan examines the history of disasters in each county and evaluates what the potential future risks could be.

He said the purpose of the plan is to demonstrate local commitment to hazard mitigation planning principles, reduce natural hazard vulnerability, speed recovery and redevelopment following natural hazards events, comply with state and federal legislative requirements, and to qualify for grant funding in both pre-disaster and post-disaster situations.

He noted that the mitigation plan must be in effect for an area to receive federal disaster relief.

The plan examines a variety of possible disasters ranging from weather related disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and ice storms to more human related disasters like burst dams, terrorist attacks and nuclear incidents.

“Our major issues are ice storms and wind storms,” said Collins.

Parts of the plan examine the ability of each locality to provide relief in different disaster situations, and makes recommendations on how each location can improve its disaster planning efforts.

The plan also includes interesting statistics like when the highest temperature, 103 degrees on Aug. 21, 1983, was recorded in the county.

The plan can be viewed online at https://atkins.app.box.com/s/cwhv470eqgtn8471qnhkylewxfcg9nnk.

Collins asked the Walnut Cove Board of Commissioners to approve the plan in August. Other municipalities will be reviewing the plan in the coming month as well.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

nelmes@civitasmedia.com

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