I. Documentation of the Planning Process



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Hocking County Emergency Management Agency

Pre-Disaster Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

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I. Documentation of the Planning Process
The four phases of Emergency Management are: (1) Mitigation: Any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from a hazard event. Mitigation, also known as prevention, encourages long-term reduction of hazard vulnerability. The goal of mitigation is to save lives and reduce property damage. Mitigation can accomplish this, and should be cost effective and environmentally sound. This, in turn, can reduce the enormous cost of disasters to property owners and all levels of government. In addition, mitigation can protect critical community facilities, reduce exposure to liability, and minimize community disruption. (2) Preparedness: Plans and preparations made to save lives and property and to facilitate response operations. (3) Response: Actions taken to provide emergency assistance, save lives, minimize property damage, and speed recovery immediately following a disaster. (4) Recovery: Actions taken to return to a normal or improved operating condition following a disaster.(FEMA) These are the basic building blocks that the Hocking County Emergency Management Agency (HCEMA) follows to protect lives and property, and to reduce economic loss and any future damages that the county may endure. HCEMA has taken on the task of participating in the Fiscal Year 2003 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Planning Initiative. A plan will be developed to address mitigation for natural hazards in Hocking County. This document will identify natural hazard risks in Hocking County, along with possible mitigation activities in order to eliminate and/or lessen damages associated with these disasters.
This plan was established by following the rules and regulations of the Federal Register under 201.6 Local Mitigation Plans. The plan was then revised following suggested guidelines in the Ohio planning guidebook interim guidance document, prepared by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA). The CORE group members were active in developing this plan. The most current information available was used and dates are noted with the statistics. Information in this document is subject to change (new buildings/structures, updated statistics etc.) and will be implemented into the plan when available.
Hocking County was awarded a grant in the amount of $19,471.00 to develop a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan for natural hazards. A local match of $6,490.00 is required. The plan must be completed prior to November, 2004, to maintain eligibility for Stafford Act disaster assistance.
Various agencies and departments contributed information to the Plan. Some of the agencies include but are not limited to: Hocking County Regional Planning Office, Hocking County Auditors’ Office, Hocking County Mapping and Drafting Department, Hocking County Engineer, Hocking County EMA, Hocking County Sewer Department, ODNR-Division of Forestry, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Hocking County Commissioners, Township Trustees and Clerks, Logan Mayor, Logan City Water and Sewer Departments, Logan-Hocking School District, Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District, Hocking County Health Department, Ohio EPA, The Ohio State University Extension, Fire Departments, Hocking County Firefighters Association, Logan Hocking Chamber of Commerce/Hocking County Community Improvement Corporation, Hocking Hills Tourism Association, Murray City Mayor, and Laurelville Village Council.
A. CORE GROUP
Bob Burris, Hocking County Regional Planner, Barbara Bunthoff, Hocking County EMA Director, Gary Starner, Hocking County Commissioner, and Debbie Later, Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District Program Administrator, met and selected a list of CORE committee members to be included in the development of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP). The group was formed based upon the information and knowledge that was needed to develop the NHMP. The following individuals are experts in their fields with the knowledge and leadership needed to help organize the plan. These committee members will offer insight into the problems and concerns that Hocking County is faced with. The CORE Group included the following members:

Barbara Bunthoff …………………………………............Hocking County EMA Director Robert Burris, P.E…..…………..……………..Hocking County Regional Planning Office

Audie Wykle………...Appalachia Ohio Alliance Advisory Committee Technical Advisor

Gary Starner………...…………………………………….Hocking County Commissioner

Allan Johnson………...…………...Hocking Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Debbie Later………………………………………………………………Hocking SWCD

Clark Sheets, Jr.………………………………Hocking SWCD/Marion Township Trustee

Bob West……….............................………………….………..Laurelville Village Council

Roger Shaw………….….…..…………………………………………………...Developer

Don Davis…….……….…………………..…...……The Ohio State University Extension Steve Williams………………..…………………………………………………Ohio EPA

Mark Samuels…….…….…………..…………………………..…The Logan Daily News Sharon Koon……..……………………………………………Murray City Village Mayor Steve Stirn……………….……………….Logan-Hocking School District Superintendent Bill Rinehart……...Logan-Hocking Chamber of Commerce/Hocking County Community

Improvement Corporation

Ray Dennis…..…………….……………………..…..Hocking County Health Department Mike Walsh…………….…..…………………………….……….Mayor of City of Logan Dave Glass…………………………………………………Hocking State Forest Manager



In addition to the Core Group listed above, Trustees or Clerks from nine of the eleven townships participated in one or more of the Core Group meetings. The jurisdictions’ information was provided through their representatives on the Core Group. All Township Trustees and Clerks were invited to all Core Group Meetings by individual personal letters sent to their homes.
Bob Miller, President of the Hocking County Fire Fighters’ Association, which represents all fire departments in Hocking County (including volunteer fire departments) was invited to the meetings and attended or had a representative attend the meetings and gave input into the plan on behalf of all the fire departments.
Local businesses and companies were represented through the Logan-Hocking Chamber of Commerce/Hocking County Community Improvement Corporation representative. Educators were represented through the Logan-Hocking School District Superintendent or his representative. The Appalachia Ohio Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the stewardship of Appalachia Ohio and the cultural heritage of its people, was represented on the Core Group by Audie Wykle, their Advisory Committee Technical Advisor. The Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District, whose staff worked on the research and writing of this plan and was represented by two Board Members on the Core Group, is a non-profit government agency with a Board of Supervisors who are elected by the public to represent them in charting the course for soil and water conservation and natural resources management. The representatives mentioned in this paragraph were invited to all Core Group Meetings, by personal letter.
We held four Core Group Meetings during the development of the Draft Plan and all jurisdictions were invited. The local newspaper was invited to all meetings and all meetings were open to the public. A representative of the newspaper attended some of the meetings.
Representatives of the Hocking SWCD and Hocking County Regional Planning Office met with Dave Glass, ODNR-Division of Forestry, Hocking State Forest Manager, on May 26, 2004, and discussed in detail the wildfire strategies for both hazards and training for the County.
A public review of the proposed plan was held on December 15, 2004, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hocking County Emergency Operations Center, 52 East Second Street, Logan, Ohio. All Core Group Members, Township Trustees and Clerks, Logan City Mayor, Murray City Village Mayor, Laurelville Village Mayor, and surrounding jurisdictions through the Athens, Fairfield, Perry, Pickaway, Ross and Vinton County Emergency Management Agencies were invited by personal letters. The public was notified by a public meeting notice in the Logan Daily News, as well as a personal invitation to Mark Samuels, Editor/Publisher of the Logan Daily News. These letters were mailed November 24, 2004. A request for the public notice to be published was e-mailed to Mark Samuels, Editor/Publisher of the Logan Daily News on November 24, 2004, and again on December 9, 2004. The public review meeting was also discussed with Logan Daily News reporter Jeremy Hauck on December 13, 2004, and an article was on the front page of the Logan Daily News on December 14, 2004. Notice of the public review was posted on the bulletin boards at the Hocking County Courthouse, Hocking County Emergency Operations Center and Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District.
Hocking County Regional Planners Robert Burris and Audie Wykle, attended the Hocking County Township Trustees Association Meeting on December 20, 2004. They reviewed and discussed the Hocking County Natural Hazards Mitigation Draft Plan. They passed out resolution forms to the townships present and requested that they adopt the plan for their townships and return the resolution to the Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District so it could be included in the plan.
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