Officials working on draft of new county emergency plan

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The Lake County Office of Emergency Management is teaming up with Tetra Tech to update the county’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP).w

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires a MHMP be in place for Lake County so that in the event of an emergency, the county can receive disaster mitigation funds and apply for mitigation grants.

In a press release from Director of Emergency Services for Lake County Steve Stanley, the five-year update will re-examine a wide range of hazards that could affect Lake County as well as recent hazard events, the probability of future occurrences and vulnerabilities of structures and population within Lake County.

Tetra Tech, Inc. of Missoula has been contracted to assist with the MHMP update.

Stanley said that while Tetra Tech will oversee the project, community participation is important “to ensure our vulnerabilities are identified and the appropriate mitigation projects” are included within the updated plan.

Officials have six months to complete the project.

THE FIRST public meeting to begin the project will be at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the meeting room at the office of Emergency Management, 25C Regatta Road, Polson.

Bi-weekly meetings will be held in November, December and January, with a focus to identify and rank hazards that will be profiled in the MHPH.

A draft plan will be completed in February, when a second public meeting will be held to further review the draft risk assessment and mitigation strategy.

Also in February, a 45-day review period will take place and in March, plan organizers will take comments on the document.

Once the comment period ends, Tetra Tech, Inc. will complete a MHPH revision, submitting it to FEMA for review and approval.

A second opportunity for review and comments will take place in April and May 2019, during which time Tetra Tech will complete another updated version of the plan, and then submit the final document to county officials as well as the cities of Polson, Ronan and St. Ignatius for adoption.

Lake County and its incorporated communities will remain eligible to receieve FEMA funding for mitigation projects once the plan is adopted.

Anyone with questions can contact Stanley at 406-883-7253 or Daphne Digrindakis with Tetra Tech, Inc., at 406-475-2648.

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