Clare County Asking for Input on County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Clare County is asking residents to fill out an online survey to help shape their Hazard Mitigation plan.

“A Hazard Mitigation plan covers a board scope of potential disasters or issues in the county,” said Jerry Becker, Clare County Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “It covers hazards anywhere from bridges, dams, waterways, hazardous material site.”

Every five years, counties review their hazard mitigation plans in order to receive federal funding.

“Having a current plan allows us to apply for what’s called Pre-Disaster Mitigation funds,” said Becker. “Without a current plan, you’re not eligible for Pre-Disaster Mitigation funds.”

The county is still able to apply for funds in case of a disaster. Pre-Disaster Mitigation funds help with projects or potential hazards within the county.

“An example of a project is the downtown Clare Tobacco Drain project,” said Becker. “They’re actually removing structures from the flood zone areas, they’re replacing bridges. Up to $2.2 million was allotted two years ago for that project through Pre-Disaster Mitigation funding.”

First Plan Development at the local levels, then a draft is sent to Michigan State Police EMHSD Division Reviewers.

Revisions are made if needed, then it goes to FEMA for a final review.

If FEMA sends it back for revision it then comes back here and then the process starts again back to MSP/FEMA.

The county’s Hazard Mitigation plan from 2016 expired in August, and they were unable to draft a new plan because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our grants were pushed behind because of COVID last year, so we would have been already well into the planning process a year ago,” said Becker. “The plan usually takes about 18 months to develop, we’re going to try and speed this up into about an eight month process. We’re hoping to be done by the first part of the coming year.”

Clare County is at the point of their process where they’re asking the public to comment on potential hazards the county could plan for.

“We try to look and project out five years and say what are the possibilities of what we might need funding for that will help us take care of some of those action items within the plan,” Becker said. “Because we have to look ahead and focus and try to develop a plan for hazards that we haven’t even thought of yet, we need people to think outside the box.”

The survey closes on November 15, where the Hazard Mitigation committee will take the data received and add it to their plan.

“We desperately need that residential input to show what people’s concerns are and what we need to be addressing in that plan that’s being developed,” said Becker.

The link to the survey can be found here.