By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – To help Canadian County communities reduce – or even avoid – natural hazards while remaining eligible for federal grants, municipal and school leaders are strongly encouraged to help update the county’s hazard mitigation plan.
They’re also invited to attend an in-person meeting set 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 at the El Reno Public Safety Center, 2707 Faith Ave.
L.E. Marshall Consulting, LLC and Canadian County Emergency Management – along with local jurisdictions in Canadian County – are joining forces on a year-long project to review, update and adopt this multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan.
“Mitigation is not how we respond to emergencies like floods, tornadoes and wildfires, but rather how we as a community might lessen or even prevent the impact of such incidents before they occur,” Canadian County Emergency Management Director Andrew Skidmore said.
Canadian County’s hazard mitigation plan reduces the potential loss from natural hazards. Skidmore called it a “living document” that must be updated to remain a “useful tool and resource.”
In a letter to city, school and county officials, Skidmore said the mitigation planning process “involves identifying and profiling the natural hazards most likely to occur in a community, assessing the vulnerability to these hazards, and establishing goals and actions that mitigate the associated risks.”
As part of this process, Canadian County’s emergency manager is seeking feedback from members of each jurisdiction involved in the plan’s update.
Maintaining a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-approved hazard mitigation plan ensures each community’s continued eligibility for non-emergency, federal hazard mitigation grants.
The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires Canadian County to update the plan every five years to maintain eligibility for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.
In a related item, Canadian County Emergency Management has accepted a $2,500 donation from an oilfield company.
The gift was announced during the Nov. 23 Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting.
Denver, Colo.-based Camino Resources LLC has “become a partner with us,” Skidmore told commissioners.
Canadian County’s emergency manager said Camino’s donation was “a way of saying ‘thank you’.”