LTN Staff Report
Lincoln County is joining with two others to create a regional plan for how best to prepare for when disaster strikes.
Lincoln, Gaston and Cleveland counties are together forming a Hazard Mitigation Council, which held its first meeting on July 9 in Cherryville.
As of now, every county in the state has individual plans (as required by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and the North Carolina Emergency Management Act) in order to receive funding for disaster relief. However, the state has asked counties in the same region and with similar vulnerabilities to consolidate their plans into one regional one.
The three-county organization’s regional plan will focus on prevention, property protection, natural-resource protection, structural projects, emergency services and public education and awareness.
Likewise, the key objectives of the council are to merge the three counties’ plans into one regional plan, update the existing plans, increase public awareness, maintain grant eligibility for participating jurisdictions and maintain compliance with both state and federal requirements.
For the initiative to meet state and federal criteria for disaster-relief funding, citizen participation is required. As such, the Lincoln County Planning and Inspections Department is inviting citizens to share their input through a brief online survey. Those interested in doing so should visit: http://goo.gl/u8ZJe.
A final version of the regional plan is expected to be submitted for approval by next summer.