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Community News

Posted on: December 8, 2021

Westchester County Seeks Comment for Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan

From Westchester County:

(White Plains, NY) – County Executive George Latimer is asking municipal officials, community leaders and residents to review Westchester’s Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide additional input before the plan is finalized. 

The county previously requested and received input from a broad range of officials and citizens, helping it to create the current draft of the plan. In this second phase of the process, Latimer is asking for public comment on the draft version of the plan, which is posted online at https://www.westchesterhmp.com/explore-the-plan.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan is designed to save lives, reduce property damage and lower the risks associated with natural disasters and other emergencies.

Latimer said: “The best way to create the most effective plan is to get as much public input as possible. A solid plan is an essential tool to help us respond to, prevent and recover from any natural disaster or other large-scale emergency.” 

Comments and suggestions on the draft document can be provided online through the website listed above.

The final hazard mitigation plan will identify and assess vulnerabilities to a variety of natural and man-made hazards and include strategies to help minimize losses if disasters should occur. The intent of the plan is to provide a comprehensive document that takes into account the diversity of communities, businesses and services that are an integral part of Westchester County and the region. 

In addition to being a tool to make Westchester County and its local municipalities more resilient to hazards, the development of this document is also required to ensure eligibility for federal mitigation funding.

Emergency Services Commissioner Richard G. Wishnie said: “We look forward to receiving feedback from all stakeholders during this important phase of the process to help validate the efforts of our mitigation planning team.”

Hazard mitigation describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by large-scale events or disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, extreme temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes and landslides. In addition, climate change is causing more severe storms to occur with greater frequency. Mitigation plans look at ways to reduce risk by making planning decisions and infrastructure improvements before a disaster occurs and establishing policies that guide storm-water management, wetlands preservation, and erosion and sediment control.     

The goals of effective hazard mitigation planning include:

  • Saving lives and property;
  • Reducing the loss of critical infrastructure;
  • Preventing the loss of essential services;
  • Reducing short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs, and
  • Increasing potential for state and federal funding for recovery.costs

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