Publish Date: 4/8/2008
February 20, 2007
MANSFIELD, PA (2/20/07) - Across the United States, natural and human-caused disasters have led to increasing levels of deaths, injuries, property damage, and interruption of business and government services.
The time, money and efforts to recover from these disasters exhaust resources, diverting attention from important public programs and private agendas.
With several recent statewide or county-specific gubernatorial and presidential disaster declarations, Mansfield University officials recognized the impact of disasters on their community and concluded that proactive efforts needed to be taken to reduce the impact of natural and human-caused hazards.
The Mansfield University Disaster-Resistant University Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (DRU/HMPC) is preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan. This project will not only guide the university towards greater disaster resistance, but is part of on-going efforts to create a more sustainable university community.
In order to qualify for federal aid for technical assistance and post-disaster funding, the University must comply with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA) and its implementing regulations (44 CFR §§201.6, published February 26, 2002). The University’s Hazard Mitigation Plan will be prepared to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements in order for the university to be eligible for funding and technical assistance from state and federal hazard mitigation programs.
“Hazard mitigation” is a phrase that describes actions taken to prevent or reduce the long-term risks to life and property from hazards. Pre-disaster mitigation actions are taken in advance of a hazard event and are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. With careful selection, mitigation actions can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing the risk of loss. The hazard mitigation planning process consists of:
• Public involvement through a series of meetings;
• Identification of hazards that could affect the university;
• Assessment of the university’s vulnerability to these hazards in terms of the number of structures and people affected;
• Identification of mitigation actions that can reduce the risk from these hazards; and
• Development of an implementation strategy identifying roles and responsibilities.
Anyone who would like to participate in the plan development or wants more information should contact Jim M. Welch, MU Environmental Health & Safety coordinator, at (570)662-4906 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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