City of Georgetown approves updated hazard mitigation plan

The Georgetown City Council has approved an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan to help the city better prepare for and respond to disasters.

The plan, which is updated every five years, aims to minimize, or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from known hazards, such as droughts floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and other major disasters, says the city. 

Hazard mitigation efforts include projects such as flood channel clearing, road and bridge design changes, property buy-outs, building code changes, or public alert systems.

The final plan also allows the city to pursue different federal and state funding opportunities to implement the plan.

Residents were able to provide input on the draft plan through May 30, 2021. The city also hosted an online survey and asked residents and business owners to help identify, analyze, and prepare for potential hazards.

During that survey, residents and business owners were asked to share whether they had been affected by disaster events and what areas of the community they thought are particularly vulnerable to potential disasters. The city says it received 349 responses to the survey and of those, 47 percent indicated they had been affected by a natural or manmade disaster in the past five years, the most common being hail.

The public was also able to provide comments on the draft plan through last May, which was compiled and included in the final draft plan, along with feedback from a Council workshop last April. The bulk of the comments centered on improving communications with the public during emergencies and better preparing for and improving community awareness of various hazards, including drought, wildfire, flash flooding, and human-caused disasters like hazardous material spills, says the city.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management and FEMA reviewed and approved the plan on Jan. 6, and the City Council unanimously adopted the plan a month later.

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