Public invited to help update county’s emergency hazard plan

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services is inviting the community to be a part of its Local Hazard Mitigation Planning project to reduce losses in times of floods, droughts, wildfires, and other disasters through a plan that hasn’t been updated since 2011.

The people most aware of potential hazards are those who live and work in affected communities. As such, the public is encouraged to attend a meeting on Wednesday, March 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the sheriff’s headquarters on 2725 Falcon Drive in Madera in order to help update the plan.

While natural hazards cannot be prevented, a Hazard Mitigation Plan forms a foundation for a community’s long-term strategy to reduce any losses, officials said. Additionally, only areas with a FEMA-approved plan are eligible to apply for grant funding, both before and after any disaster situations.

Nationwide, taxpayers pay billions of dollars each year helping communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals recover from disasters. Some of those incidents are predictable, and much of the damage can be reduced or even eliminated through proper hazard mitigation plans.

OES has partnered with the cities of Madera, Chowchilla, and county special districts to develop the updated plan.