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The Lower Platte North Natural Resources District is working to help fortify the region against natural and human-caused disasters.

And it’s seeking public input.

The district is updating its hazard mitigation plan as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This update is needed to remain eligible for mitigation grant programs.

The plan examines regional and local vulnerabilities to a range of hazards — such as flooding, severe winter storms, tornadoes, ice storms, drought and chemical spills — and identifies strategies and projects to reduce their impact.

A team is working on the hazard mitigation planning process.

Public involvement and comments will be gathered through meetings and online tools. The first round of public meetings will start at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the NRD office at 511 Commercial Park Road in Wahoo and Sept. 24 at the David City Library at 399 N. Fifth St.

“The public meetings on Sept. 19 in Wahoo and Sept. 24 in David City are extremely important,” Tom Mountford, LPNNRD assistant manager, told the Fremont Tribune. “These meetings give communities, entities and counties the opportunity to receive updates on the Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide input on the process for pre-disaster projects.”

Mountford said the Hazard Mitigation Plan is grant and LPNNRD funded — resulting in no cost to participating entities.

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“Participation opens the opportunity for potential NEMA (Nebraska Emergency Management Agency) and FEMA funding to these entities,” Mountford said. “A list with those opportunities will be released later.”

The planning team consists of representatives from across the communities and counties within the LPNNRD.

Officials and public representatives from the NRD, counties, communities, school districts, sanitary improvement districts and other special districts will provide information and insights regarding vulnerabilities, completed projects that have increased local resilience, and future opportunities to further reduce risk.

The NRD has hired JEO Consulting Group to assist with the plan development during the next year.

This hazard mitigation plan update is funded by a FEMA planning grant. The cost is shared 75% through federal funding and 25% through a local match.

For this plan update, the NRD is providing the 25% local match, so there is no additional cost to jurisdictions that will be participating in this plan update.

An informational website has been set up where the public can check the status of the planning process, review documents and check meeting times and locations at http://www.jeo.com/lpnnrd-hmp/.

Any questions or comments regarding this planning process are encouraged and can be made to Becky Appleford, JEO project manager, at 402-392-9915 or by email at rappleford@jeo.com.

Mountford also can be contacted at 402-443-4675 or tmountford@lpnnrd.org.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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