Chapter 1 IntroductiongreenR


2009 Marshall County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

Executive Summary

I. Background

Section 322 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), 42 U. S.C. 5165 as amended by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA) (P.L. 106-390), provides for States, Tribes, and local governments to undertake a risk-based approach to reducing risks to natural hazards through mitigation planning. The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U. S. C. 4001 et seq. reinforced the need and requirement for mitigation plans, linking flood mitigation assistance to State, Tribal and Local Mitigation Plans. FEMA has implemented the various hazard mitigation planning provisions through regulations in 44 CFR Part 201, which also permit man-made hazards to be addressed in a local mitigation plan. These Federal regulations describe the requirement for a State Mitigation Plan as a condition of pre- and post-disaster assistance as well as the mitigation plan requirement for local and Tribal governments as a condition of receiving hazard mitigation assistance. 44 CFR 201.6(d)(3) requires that a local jurisdiction must review and revise its local plan to reflect any changes and resubmit it for approval within five years in order to remain eligible for mitigation grant funding. The initial plan was approved by FEMA effective July 12, 2004, upon its adoption by the Marshall County Commission.

II. Organization of the Plan

The 2009 Marshall County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan is organized to parallel the 44 CFR Section 201.6 Federal requirements for a local mitigation plan, as interpreted by Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance, FEMA, July 1, 2008. The organization of this plan is consistent with the organization of the 2007 Alabama Hazard Mitigation Plan, which also parallels the Federal requirements. The plan has seven chapters, as follows:

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Prerequisites

Chapter 3 Community Profiles

Chapter 4 The Planning Process

Chapter 5 Risk Assessment

Chapter 6 Mitigation Strategy

Chapter 7 Plan Maintenance Process

This plan update is also organized similar to the 2004 Marshall County, Alabama, Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, which allows for easy cross reference. Each chapter of the 2009 plan update references the requirements of 44 CFR Section 201.6 that it addresses and includes a table that summarizes the updates to the 2004 plan.

III. Highlights of the Plan

Through a comprehensive planning process and risk assessment, this plan update creates a unified approach among all Marshall County communities for dealing with identified hazards and associated risk issues. It serves as a guide for local governments in their ongoing efforts to reduce community vulnerabilities. It also evaluates the 2004 plan and notes its successes and shortcomings and suggests adjustments and introduces new measures to address the different hazards.

Each hazard, natural and man-made, that is viewed as a possible risk to Marshall County is described in detail; the vulnerability of the county and each jurisdiction to the hazards are addressed; goals, objectives, and mitigation strategies and actions are stated; and mitigation plans that direct each jurisdiction in the implementation and monitoring of the measures are included in the update.

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Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 1 of the plan update provides a general introduction to the plan update. It explains the purpose of the plan and which jurisdictions participated in the plan update. The chapter mentions the regulations that require the active participation by local jurisdictions in the mitigation planning process. Also included in this chapter is the explanation of various funding sources that can be applied for if a plan update is submitted to FEMA. Summaries of both the 2004 plan?s and this update?s planning process are also written in this section.

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Chapter 2. Prerequisites

Chapter 2 of the plan update addresses the different regulations governing the development and updating of the mitigation plan. It addresses 44 CFR Secs. 201.6 and the prerequisites required through this Code. It goes into greater detail about the various mitigation grants and other federal money available for the County?s use for mitigation planning.

Chapter 2 also addresses multi-jurisdictional participation and plan adoption. It describes the relationship and responsibilities of the various entities involved in the planning process. It also explains the various means in which they could participate in the planning process. The multi-jurisdictional plan adoption procedure is explained in the last section of the chapter.

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Chapter 3. Community Profiles

Chapter 3 profiles the participating jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction within Marshall County is described in detail. The overall geographic setting and history of Marshall County and the participating jurisdictions are addressed. Summaries about the jurisdictions? government, demographics, economy, utilities, media, transportation and climate are included.

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Chapter 4. The Planning Process

Chapter 4 explains the planning process in detail. It explains how the public was involved in the planning process, what steps the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC) took in developing the plan update, what documents were consulted in the plan update and how the plan was prepared, reviewed and updated.

In August 2008, a kick off meeting was held to reactivate the HMPC and prepare for the upcoming five year plan update. Between August 2004 and January 2009, the Marshall County EMA staff and the planning consultant team organized the planning process and the HMPC representative membership. The Marshall County Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC), comprised of representatives from all the jurisdictions and organizations concerned with hazard mitigation, guided the development of this plan.

During the plan drafting process, the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee held five meetings between January 8 and April 1, 2009. Each Committee member was asked to participate in a series of exercises designed to solicit input into the planning process. A notice and survey were sent to various local and regional agencies with an interest in hazard mitigation, agencies that have the authority to regulate development, and representatives of businesses, academia and other private and non-profit interests notifying them of the draft plan and requesting their input and cooperation.

The participating jurisdictions provided copies of their plans, studies, reports, ordinances, regulations and technical information to the planning team. The planning team reviewed the documents and recorded the sections from each document that pertained to hazard mitigation. These documents were closely examined to see what mitigation measures were currently being pursued and what new measure could be included in future revisions.

The Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee solicited public input into the mitigation plan through a public survey, public meetings, the local news media, and an internet Web site. A toll free number was available for the residents to reach the planning team. They were also invited to attend committee meetings and provide their comments and concerns. The plan on the Web site was continually updated and available for public review and comment throughout the planning process. The HMPC sponsored a special community meeting held on March 10, 2009 at the Marshall County Courthouse. At that meeting the plan, hazards, and mitigation measures were discussed among participants. Displays and handouts regarding various hazards were made available to the public. The public was encouraged to fill out a public survey about the risks and threats of hazards.

A public hearing to receive comments was jointly held by all jurisdictions prior to each adopting this plan by resolution, as required by State law. The original resolutions and public hearing minutes are kept on file at the EMA offices.

The plan review and update process resulted in a comprehensive update of the entire 2004 plan elements, which was achieved through a process that involved the following tasks, among others:

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Chapter 5. Risk Assessment

Chapter 5 first describes the process used to identify and prioritize the hazard risks to each Marshall County jurisdiction. It describes the resources used to identify the hazards and provides detailed descriptions of each identified hazard. A hazard profile for each identified hazard includes a general description of the nature of the hazard in Marshall County, followed by an explanation of the location, extents, previous occurrences, and the probabilities of future occurrences. The hazard profiles rely heavily on maps, charts, tables, and figures to communicate the profile information. The new Federal requirements for repetitive loss properties are included in this chapter, although Marshall County does not have any repetitive losses.

Vulnerability assessments are reported for each identified hazard. The vulnerability assessments include a summary of the impacts of each hazard on each jurisdiction. Next, vulnerability assessments of structures are reported. Detailed inventories of buildings, infrastructure, and critical facilities are presented and often mapped. The HAZUS-MH data bases are supplemented by local information. The estimates of losses are calculated in HAZUS-MH for earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, and methods are presented for loss estimate calculations of the other identified hazards. A fresh look at land and development trends since the 2004 plan reveals the concerns for reducing exposure for developing areas of Marshall County.

Chapter 5 concludes with an analysis of how the risks vary among the jurisdictions. This concluding section summarizes the findings of the hazard profiles and vulnerability assessments.

A complete reevaluation of the hazards was performed by the planning team in the plan update process. Hazard profiles and vulnerability assessments were based on current and more complete information since the 2004 plan. The latest release of HAZUS-MH was applied to the risk assessments, and the updated HAZUS-MH database provided much of the information required to evaluate the vulnerability of structures and perform loss estimates.

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Chapter 6. Mitigation Strategy

Chapter 6 addresses the full range of mitigation strategies evaluated by the HMPC. It explains the common community vision for disaster resistance and the different goals that the plan is trying to achieve along with different objectives that can be used to achieve those goals. It identifies and analyzes mitigation actions and projects. A description of participation and compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program is provided. Mitigation actions implementation is discussed and the final section details each jurisdiction?s individualized mitigation action program.

The goals in the 2004 plan have been updated based on current conditions, including the completion of mitigation measures over the five-year plan implementation cycle, the 2009 update to the risk assessment in Chapter 5, the update to the risk assessment in the 2007 Alabama Hazard Mitigation Plan, and the update of State goals and mitigation priorities reflected in the state plan.

The goals for this plan update are, as follows:

The strategic planning approach for identifying and analyzing mitigation actions and projects follows five categories of a comprehensive hazard mitigation program, which also form the basis for the goals of this plan. These program categories were developed by FEMA for managing a successful mitigation program and were used as guidelines for identifying and sorting the alternative mitigation measures. They are prevention, property protection, public education and awareness, natural resources protection, and structural projects. Emergency services were discarded as a mitigation goal by FEMA and the different emergency services that could be incorporated into one of the five above categories were and those that could not were not addressed in this plan update.

The Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC) and local jurisdictions selected among the available mitigation measures within each of the above categories and prioritized the measures by applying the STAPLEE method. They also evaluated the consistency with the vision, goals, and objectives; weight of benefit to cost; FEMA and State funding priorities for Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants; and the fiscal and staffing capacities of the jurisdictions for carrying out the measures. Mitigation measures that resulted in loss reduction to existing and new buildings and infrastructure were chosen for the final list of considered measures. Each jurisdiction assigned a priority to selected measures, established a general completion schedule, assigned administrative responsibility for carrying out the measures, estimated costs, where possible, and identified potential funding sources, including potential eligibility for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs.

A separate action program has been established for each community. The proposed measures are within the authority of the jurisdiction or are part of a joint effort among multiple jurisdictions covered by this plan. All actions included in these programs are achievable and within the capabilities of each jurisdictions.

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Chapter 7. Plan Maintenance Process

Chapter 7 describes the maintenance process for the 2009 Marshall County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. It explains the monitoring, evaluation and updating procedures and how to incorporate the plan into other planning mechanisms. It also describes the need for continuing public participation in the plan maintenance process.

The plan explains that ongoing monitoring of the plan should occur throughout the next five years until the next scheduled update. Ongoing status reports of each jurisdiction?s progress will be reviewed by the EMA Director and representatives from the HMPC and should include the following information:

The ongoing review process may require adjustments to the selection of mitigation measures, priorities, timelines, lead responsibilities, and funding sources.

Plan evaluation should occur within sixty days following a significant disaster or an emergency event having a substantial impact on a portion of or the entire Marshall County area or any of its jurisdictions. A risk assessment should be done and the findings should determine any new mitigation initiatives that should be incorporated into this plan to avoid similar losses from future hazard events.

The HMPC will oversee an annual evaluation of progress towards implementation of the Mitigation Strategy. In its annual review, the HMPC will discuss the following topics to determine the effectiveness of the implementation actions and the need for revisions to the Mitigation Strategy:

Any updates, revisions, or amendments to the Marshall County Emergency Operations Plan, local comprehensive plans, capital improvement budgets or plans, zoning ordinances and maps, subdivision regulations, building and technical codes, and related development controls should be consistent with the goals, objectives, and mitigation measures adopted in this plan. As part of subsequent five-year update process, all local planning mechanisms should again be reviewed for effectiveness, and recommendations for new integration opportunities should be carefully considered. Multi-hazard mitigation planning should be integrated into existing public information activities, as well as household emergency preparedness. Ongoing public education programs should stress the importance of managing and mitigating hazard risks.

Consequently, the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee is dedicated to direct involvement of its citizens in providing feedback and comments on the plan throughout the five-year implementation cycle and interim reviews.

Public meetings will be held when significant modifications to the plan are required or when otherwise deemed necessary by the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee. The public will be able to express their concerns, ideas, and opinions at the meetings. At a minimum, public hearings will be held during the annual and five-year plan updates and to present the final plan and amendments to the plan to the public before adoption.

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The final sections of the plan are the Appendices. The supporting documents for this plan update that were able to be included in this plan update have been inserted into the following appendices:

A Federal Requirements for Local Mitigation Plans contains the entire 44 CFR Sec. 201.6 requirements for local mitigation plans.

B Community Mitigation Capabilities reports on the results of a comprehensive survey and assessment of each jurisdiction?s capabilities to implement mitigation measures.

C 2004 Plan Implementation Status reports the evaluation results of implementation of mitigation measures recommended for implementation by each jurisdiction in the 2004 plan.

D HMPC Hazard Identification and Ratings reports the results of the Committee exercise for identifying hazards for inclusion in the 2009 plan update and the ratings of the hazards for extents and probability of future occurrences.

E Hazard Profile Data contains detailed hazard records of the National Weather Service, the National Climatic Data Center, and local newspapers.

F Alternative Mitigation Measures examines the range of mitigation measures considered for the 2009 Mitigation Strategy.

G Committee Meeting Documentation documents the HMPC meetings during the drafting phase of the 2009 plan update.

H Community Involvement Documentation reports on the full scope of community involvement opportunities during the drafting phase of the 2009 plan update.

I Multi-Jurisdictional Participation Activities records the scope of participation of all jurisdictions in the drafting and adoption of the 2009 plan update.

J Adopting Resolution presents a model resolution for plan adoption by local governing bodies.

Other documents and materials mentioned in the plan or used in its preparation but not included in the plan appendices are kept on file in the Marshall County EMA office. These other documents and materials, include, but are not limited to the following items:

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Chapter 1 IntroductiongreenR