Upper Big Blue NRD invites public participation in hazard mitigation planning process

YORK COUNTY — From floods to blizzards, tornadoes to cyber-attacks, there are many potential hazards facing Nebraska’s communities. While some hazards can’t be prevented, proper planning can lessen the severity of their impacts to people, property, the environment, and the economy.
To that end, the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District is currently updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan. A Hazard Mitigation Plan is a community-driven, living document that assesses vulnerability to natural and manmade hazards and identifies mitigation strategies to reduce vulnerability. As this plan is being updated, residents and representatives from organizations across Hamilton, Seward and York Counties are encouraged to participate in a survey to identify the areas of greatest concern.
The survey can be accessed now through June 1 online at www.upperbigblue.org/HMPSurvey. You can also request a hardcopy of the survey be mailed to you, or you can stop by the office of the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District (319 E 25th St, York) to pick up a copy.
The information provided to the NRD through survey responses will guide district staff as they seek funding from state and federal sources to implement mitigation actions that address the threat of possible hazards. Specific mitigation actions that could be implemented will depend on the needs of individual communities, but some common projects include backup generators, emergency sirens, drainage improvements, and public education programs.
In addition to the survey, the NRD is hosting a series of public meetings and is inviting all communities and stakeholder organizations to participate and to provide input to the planning process. This public engagement will ensure that the mitigation efforts included in the plan document are appropriate and consistent with the needs of organizations and communities. Representatives from jurisdictions such as a county, city, village, or district (including school or fire district) are especially encouraged to participate in these public meetings, as once they are part of an approved plan, they become eligible for up to a 90 percent cost share from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a variety of projects listed in the plan.
The first round of planning meetings will be held in:
  • Seward: Monday, January 22, 7 p.m., at the Civic Center, East Basement, 616 Bradford St, Seward, NE 68434
  • York: Wednesday, January 31, 2 p.m., at the Upper Big Blue NRD Board Room, 319 E 25th St, York, NE 68467
  • Aurora: Wednesday, January 31, 7 p.m., at the Aurora Fire Department, 906 13th St, Aurora, NE 68818
Each of these meetings will also be accessible via Zoom. Login info for each meeting can be found at www.upperbigblue.org/events.
To RSVP to one of the meetings, contact Anthony Kohel, JEO Planner, at (402) 474-8753 or akohel@jeo.com. For more information, you can visit the project website at https://www.jeo.com/upper-big-blue-hazard-mitigation-plan.
Thanks for reading this article.
JMWNews.com content is free and never behind a paywall.
We believe in trustworthy, local journalism that is accessible to everyone.