Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Town of New Castle has completed and adopted the 2021 FEMA approved New Castle Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). This page will remain live in order to facilitate public awareness while the Plan is being implemented. Please check back often to see what goals and actions have been implemented from the Plan.
WHAT IS HAZARD MITIGATION?
Natural hazards have the potential to cause property loss, loss of life, economic hardship, and threats to public health and safety. While an important aspect of emergency management deals with disaster recovery (i.e., those actions that a community must take to repair damages and make itself whole in the wake of a natural disaster), an equally important aspect of emergency management involves hazard mitigation.
Hazard mitigation actions are efforts taken before a disaster happens to lessen the impact that future disasters of that type will have on people and property in the community. They are things you do today to be more protected in the future. Hazard mitigation actions taken in advance of a hazard event are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. With careful selection, hazard mitigation actions can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing the risk of loss and help create a more disaster-resistant and sustainable community.
WHAT IS A HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN?
A hazard mitigation plan is a well-organized and well-documented evaluation of the hazards that a jurisdiction is susceptible to, and the extent to which these events will occur. Hazard mitigation plans identify an area’s vulnerability to the effects of the hazards, as well as the goals, objectives, and actions required for minimizing future loss of life, injury, property damage, and economic disruption as a result of hazard events.
PURPOSE AND NEED FOR THE PLAN
A hazard mitigation plan is developed BEFORE a disaster strikes. The plan identifies community policies, actions, and tools for long-term implementation to reduce risk and potential for future losses. Adopted, implemented and maintained on an ongoing basis, the plan will gradually, but steadily, lessen the impacts associated with hazard events in the Town of New Castle.
Under the federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000), as of November 1, 2004 communities that do not have a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan in place are no longer eligible for FEMA project grant monies under long standing programs such as the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC).
OUTCOMES: IDENTIFYING MITIGATION PROJECTS AND OTHER BENEFITS
A major focus of this plan will be to identify effective mitigation projects and realistic implementation strategies, including identifying potential funding streams. This includes projects that may be eligible for federal funding through FEMA grants or other federal sources, as well as to projects that may not qualify for federal funding but are still important to a community. This planning process will help lay the groundwork for implementation of both federally fundable and non-federally fundable mitigation projects.
In addition to identifying effective mitigation projects, a plan will also assist the Town in the following ways:
- Increased understanding of hazards and risk the Town faces;
- Eligibility for federal funds for pre-disaster mitigation planning under DMA 2000;
- Developing partnerships that support planning and mitigation efforts and may offer potential financial savings, including: reduced flood insurance premiums, broader resources for funding of mitigation projects, and enhanced benefit-cost ratios;
- Enhanced coordination of hazard mitigation with comprehensive planning and zoning;
- Development of more sustainable and disaster-resistant communities; and
- Reduced long-term impacts and damages to human health and structures, and reduced repair costs.
Proactive mitigation leads to the development of sustainable, cost-effective projects. In contrast, reactive mitigation tends to yield “quick-fix” alternatives that may cost much and accomplish little. Proactive mitigation is also far more cost-effective than paying to clean up and rebuild after disasters happen. Danger to population and damage to property can be reduced if the region evaluates where and how disasters may occur, and takes steps to reduce those risks.
The Town previously participated in the Westchester County Hazard Mitigation Plan. However, to ensure we remain eligible for FEMA mitigation funding, the Town has opted to develop and submit a single jurisdiction plan at this time.
Resident and stakeholder participation is a vital part of the hazard mitigation planning process. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in lieu of in-person outreach at this time, we will continue to update this page with ways you can keep informed and engaged in the Town of New Castle HMP. Keep checking back regularly for information on planning progress, to take our survey, and to review and comment on the draft plan.
The planning process will follow the following eight phases through to project implementation. This includes several key steps:
- Organize the planning partnership.
- Research a full range of hazards.
- Identify the most significant hazards (the ones that present the most risk to the Town); these will be the focus of the plan.
- Identify the location and extent of hazard areas.
- Identify assets located within hazard areas.
- Characterize existing and potential future assets at risk by analyzing land uses and development trends.
- Assess vulnerabilities to the identified hazards.
- Identify local, state, and federal capabilities that support hazard mitigation.
- Develop a mitigation strategy by evaluating and prioritizing goals, objectives, and hazard mitigation actions.
- Adopt the plan.
- Implement the plan and monitor its progress.
While natural disasters cannot be prevented from occurring, the continued implementation of our hazard mitigation plan over the long-term will gradually, but steadily, lessen the impacts associated with hazard events in our region.
If you would like more information regarding how to get involved in the project, please contact Kellan Cantrell, Town of New Castle Assistant Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org