We’re heading into the busiest part of hurricane season. More disturbances are stirring in the Atlantic while some areas across the country are recovering from earthquakes and wildfires.
Have you ever wondered how the city or even the county knows how to respond to a natural or man-made disaster?
That’s where the Local Mitigation Strategy comes into play.
The Pinellas County Local Mitigation Strategy is currently going through its five-year update required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Gulfport City Council voted to adopt the most recent version of the plan, during the August 4 city council meeting.
In essence, this means that the City of Gulfport will take part of a county-wide plan to preemptively help mitigate extensive damage after a disaster – such as wildfires and flooding caused by storms.
The updated 2020 LMS plan has been approved by the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management and FEMA and overrides previous versions of the plan.
But, what exactly did Gulfport adopt?
According to the Pinellas County website, “the purpose of the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) is to establish an ongoing process that makes hazard mitigation part of the daily functioning of the entire community, including both public and private sectors and our residents themselves. The LMS is a multi-jurisdictional ‘all-hazards’ mitigation plan that serves as a bridge between local governments”
Pinellas County, along with 23 municipal partners –including Gulfport – and other governmental agencies, local universities and various non-profits all participate in the LMS and contribute to the update process.
“In addition to preparing residents for the potential impacts of various types of hazards and allowing the county to receive federal grant funding in the event of a declared disaster, the LMS plays an important role by serving as the county’s Floodplain Management Plan in the Community Rating System (CRS) program,” according to the county website.
Participating local governments are evaluated on their flood prevention/mitigation programs and receive a CRS score, which also determines whether or not flood insurance policyholders will see savings on their policy.
According to the city ordinance, the City of Gulfport must prepare and adopt a Floodplain Management Plan in order to remain active in the CRS.
Surveys are periodically sent out to residents seeking input to improve the plan and address concerns from the resident level.
For more information about the plan, head over to the Pinellas County website.