New Jersey Office of Emergency Management opens mitigation plan for public review

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management recently announced that it will open its Draft 2014 State of New Jersey Hazard Mitigation Plan to allow the public to review the plan and comment before submission.

This marks the first time that the NJ Office of Emergency Management has opened the mitigation plan to public review and commentary before submission to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for review and approval. The public review period was initiated as a way to increase public awareness and transparency about state disaster risk control strategies.

"Mitigation strategies are about helping communities reducing the impact of disasters," State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJOEM Colonel Rick Fuentes said. "The plan provides guidance to aid communities in making decisions about municipal planning and development that will increase sustainability, help save lives, and protect property from future disasters."

The State Hazard Mitigation Plan outlines methods to reduce the risk of natural and human-induced disasters through evaluation of previous disaster incidents. The plan also serves as a foundation for budget prioritization to address the state's disaster risk mitigation.

All states are required to have a hazard mitigation plan approved by FEMA in order to qualify for resources regarding disaster relief and program funding. The State Hazard Mitigation Plan must be updated and re-submitted to FEMA for review every three years to remain eligible for grant funding.