For Immediate Release
June 13, 2014
CONCORD – In order to protect critical infrastructure and strengthen the state’s response to natural disasters, Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management has undertaken a new hazard mitigation initiative funded by FEMA through the Regional Catastrophic Planning Grant.
The initiative includes an inventory of the locations that have had the most frequent and expensive problems from natural disasters. Phase two of the initiative is a partnership with the Governors’ Institute on Community Design to develop a statewide master plan that will help ensure that mitigation resources are used in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible.
“We are dealing with the aftermath of major storms with increasing frequency, with many of the same locations hit repeatedly,” Governor Hassan said. “As we see more natural disasters across the world damaging economies and threatening people and their way of life, emergency preparedness is an economic imperative, and this initiative will help make our response to natural disasters more efficient and strengthen the resiliency of our infrastructure in the long-term.”
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Perry Plummer is coordinating efforts with state agencies (Division of Emergency Services and Communications, Department of Environmental Services, Department of Transportation, the Office of Energy and Planning), FEMA and local municipalities to create a unified database of geographically based natural hazard data. This database will enable the state to analyze past naturally caused damages, facilitating the reduction of risk by strategically placing hazard mitigation investments and projects. The purpose of these actions is to help reduce the frequency of repetitive loss and develop data driven hazard mitigation strategies for the future.
Once the database is complete, the state, with technical support from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, will work with local stakeholders to develop short- and long-term strategies that will guide and prioritize statewide mitigation efforts.
A program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Smart Growth America, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design works with states to develop practical solutions to growth, development and community design challenges in order to strengthen the social and economic well-being of the state and its citizens. For more information, visit www.govinstitute.org.