On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Martin County Emergency Management convened key county departments, city and township representatives, as well as other agency stakeholders in a 2-hour Planning Team Meeting for the update of the Martin County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP). The meeting was held at the Martin County Law Enforcement Center in Fairmont and was facilitated by the University of Minnesota – Duluth Geospatial Analysis Center (GAC) project team who are leading the update of the County plan.

The 5-year update of the MHMP is required in order for the county to be eligible for hazard mitigation grant programs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

During the meeting the group reviewed the natural hazards pose risk the County and ranked the prioritization of those hazards based the likelihood of events and the damaging impacts that could occur to people and property. The hazards to be addressed in the plan include: Severe Winter Storms (blizzards, heavy snow and ice storms), Severe Summer Storms (thunderstorms, lightning, hailstorms, windstorms and tornadoes), Flash Flood & River Flooding, Extreme Temperatures (Heat/Cold), Erosion & Landslides, Wildfire, Drought and Dam Failure.

The group then discussed the types of strategies and mitigation actions that could be included in the plan update to help reduce or eliminate the impact of future hazard events, including activities eligible for future FEMA grant funding. High priority mitigation measures identified by the county and jurisdictions included encouraging more residents to sign up for emergency notifications, installation or upgrade of outdoor warning sirens, construction of community safe rooms or storm shelters where people are vulnerable to high wind events (such as campgrounds, schools and mobile home parks), improving culverts and roads that repetitively flood, implementing erosion control measures and burying powerlines that may fail during severe winter or spring storms.

City and township residents are encouraged to contact Martin County Emergency Management with feedback on mitigation activities that they feel would help to minimize future damages from severe storm events or disasters in their community. The public will have a continued opportunity to participate in the MHMP update in the coming months. A draft of the plan will be posted on the County website for public review prior to submission of the plan to the State of Minnesota. Future news releases will be shared with the media to notify the public of these opportunities.

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