Ascension Parish to hold Public Meeting for Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Baton Rouge – Ascension Parish Hazard Mitigation Plan Update public meeting will be held on Monday, October 6, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ascension Parish Government Executive Council Chambers Courthouse East, 828 South Irma Blvd., Gonzales, LA 70737.

Natural hazards have the potential to cause property loss, loss of life, economic hardship, and threats to public health and safety. While an important aspect of emergency management deals with disaster recovery (the actions that a community takes to repair damages), an equally important aspect of emergency management involves hazard mitigation - sustained actions taken to reduce long-term risk to life and property. They are things we do today to be more protected in the future. For example, elevating buildings in flood hazard areas, installing hurricane clips and storm shutters, relocating critical facilities out of hazard areas, using fire-resistant construction materials in wildfire hazard areas, etc. Hazard mitigation actions are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. With careful selection, they can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing risk and helping to create a more sustainable and disaster-resilient community.

A hazard mitigation plan describes an area’s vulnerability to the various natural hazards that are typically present, along with an array of actions and projects for reducing key risks. While natural disasters cannot be prevented from occurring, the continued implementation of mitigation strategies identified in the plan will gradually, but steadily, make our communities more sustainable and disaster-resilient.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires all states and local governments to have a hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible to apply for certain types of federal hazard mitigation project grants. Hazard mitigation plans must be: (a) implemented on an ongoing basis, and (b) updated every five years to ensure that they remain applicable representations of local risk and locally-preferred risk reduction strategies.

Ascension Parish, in collaboration with the City of Gonzales, City of Donaldsonville and Town of Sorrento, is in the beginning stages of updating its hazard mitigation plan. The Public Meeting will be held on October 6th, at the Ascension Parish Government Executive Council Chambers Courthouse East, 828 South Irma BLVD, Gonzales, LA 70737 for all citizens interested in learning about and participating in discussions concerning the Ascension Parish Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Residents of Ascension Parish are asked to participate in a survey about public perceptions and opinions regarding natural hazards in the parish. The survey results will be used in the development of the plan. This short web-based survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AscensionParish.

For more information, please contact: Meredith Conger, Ascension Parish Homeland Security – Planning and Intelligence Section Chief – (225) 621-8360 – mconger@apgov.us.