Hazard Mitigation Plan gets update, including preparing for earthquakes
Posted: December 5, 2012
The Winchester Star
BOYCE — A regional Hazard Mitigation Plan — which includes the town — is awaiting approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
When FEMA OKs it, the Town Council must still pass a resolution accepting the document as its official plan, in order to be eligible for disaster assistance in the event of a natural catastrophe.
Jill Keihn, natural resources program manager for the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (NSVRC), said during Tuesday night’s meeting of the group that representatives from 20 jurisdictions drafted the update of the 2007 plan for submission to the state government and FEMA.
The plan — which outlines ways localities can reduce the adverse impacts of disasters — is necessary, she said, for jurisdictions to be eligible for federal assistance funded through FEMA and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Keihn said one of the updates to the plan was the addition of earthquakes to the disaster list following the 2011 Mineral County quake.
Accepting the update will make jurisdictions eligible for any future funding to carry out strategies in the plan, Keihn said.
The NSVRC has a webpage, NSVemergency.org, with information about emergency plans for individual communities and a link detailning the creation of a disaster preparedness kit.
Keihn said localities will be asked to review the plan annually, and state officials want it updated every five years.
In other business, the council voted to appoint Darryl Dawson to a four-year term to fill a vacancy on the town Planning Commission.
Chairman Erika Kelble said the commission is reviewing about a dozen properties in the town — zoned for business and with no frontage on Main Street — to determine ways to deal with their parking needs.
Attending the meeting in the Town Hall were Mayor Franklin Roberts and members Ray Weckerly Jr., Laurel Greene, Erika Kelble and Recorder Tamara Myer.
— Contact Val Van Meter at firstname.lastname@example.org