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Posted on: April 1, 2020

Maui County updating Hazard Mitigation Plan; residents asked to take planning survey

Maui County residents are being asked to help find solutions to problems associated with natural hazards by participating in hazard mitigation. One way is to fill out the Public Mitigation Planning Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/mitigatemaui

The survey is part of the Maui Emergency Management Agency’s work to develop an update to the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. It addresses threats such as wildfires, significant beach erosion and highway rockslides and now includes the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health threat.

The plan looks at how the County can lessen the impact of natural hazards such as wildfires, tropical storms and erosion on all three islands. This includes projects such as strengthening school buildings to serve as shelters during hurricanes, adding generators to critical facilities for backup power, and developing tsunami evacuation routes. Once approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the plan makes the County eligible for pre- and post-disaster mitigation project grant funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs and other non-emergency disaster assistance.

The Maui County Hazard Mitigation Plan includes consideration of infectious disease and pandemics as part of the Public Health Hazard. In alignment with the State Hazard Mitigation Plan and federal hazard mitigation requirements, public health concerns are recognized. The Maui County Hazard Mitigation Plan also provides an opportunity for county officials and the public to recommend potential mitigation measures to generally lessen the impacts of these events. This plan is currently under development and will reflect COVID-19 as a new public health hazard to the county.

With support of a consulting team led by Jamie Caplan Consulting LLC, Maui Emergency Management Agency has formed a Steering Committee of County Leaders to inform the update process. Prior to the pandemic, the Steering Committee met twice and Team members interviewed a dozen key stakeholders, and hosted public meetings in Hana, Molokai, and Central Maui.

For more information about the Hazard Mitigation Plan or to learn about ways to participate in the development of the Hazard Mitigation Plan, contact Anthony Joyce, PhD, Hazard Mitigation Officer, Maui Emergency Management Agency, at (808) 270-7286 or send email to Anthony.joyce@mauicounty.gov. You can also visit https://www.mauicounty.gov/1832/Multi-Hazard-Mitigation-Plan.

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