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Collective of Central Virginia jurisdictions set to adopt plan to mitigate hazards from severe weather

The Richmond-Crater Multi-Region Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies vulnerabilities associated with a variety of hazards and sets out long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate risks. The plan highlights floods, severe wind events and tornadoes as high-risk hazards for the region. 

Trevor Dickerson

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The region’s new hazard mitigation plan was adopted by the Prince George County Board of Supervisors and the Jarratt Town Council on Tuesday and now heads to surrounding jurisdictions for adoption.

The Richmond-Crater Multi-Region Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies vulnerabilities associated with a variety of hazards and sets out long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate risks. The plan highlights floods, severe wind events and tornadoes as high-risk hazards for the region.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the plan in July. Following Prince George County and the Town of Jarratt’s actions this week, the plan now heads to the other localities in the Richmond and Crater regions for adoption. Local adoption of the plan is required by FEMA to be eligible for federal disaster relief funds.

A plan update process for the 2022 version of the Hazard Mitigation Plan began in late 2020 and included public participation and support from jurisdictions. Organizers focused on the following goals:

  • Equitably prepare and protect the whole community against natural hazards;
  • Strengthen and develop partnerships for mitigating and reducing hazard impacts;
  • Encourage sustainable government practices that support the short- and long-term; health, safety and welfare of citizens
  • Protect critical infrastructure.

“We leveraged a multi-disciplinary approach to create the hazard plan by engaging the talented staff at covered local governments including membership of the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia throughout the PlanRVA and Crater jurisdiction footprints,” said Martha Heeter, PlanRVA executive director. “The collaborative process promotes greater efficiency and cost efficiency when coordinating fulfillment of mandates. By thoughtfully engaging in hazard planning together, it’s making our community a safer place for everyone.”

PlanRVA – a regional organization focused on community development, emergency management, the environment and transportation – provides staffing and expertise to develop and maintain the Richmond-Crater Multi-Region Hazard Mitigation Plan in partnership with the Crater Planning District Commission. Salter’s Creek Consulting was hired through a grant awarded by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to guide the process of updating the plan.

“Thanks to significant community input, our hazard mitigation plan builds on local knowledge and expertise to give leaders the tools to take action and prepare before a disaster occurs to reduce its impact,” said Sarah Stewart, Planning Manager at PlanRVA. “This plan will make our region more resilient and helps breaks the cycle of repeated disaster damage and reconstruction.”

To review the plan, visit PlanRVA’s website.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.