Friday October 9th, 2015 10:05AM

Barrow starts hazard plan update

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
WINDER - Barrow County officials are embarking on renewal efforts for the county's Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). The county's emergency management department has scheduled a kickoff meeting next month.

Barrow County is approaching the deadline for renewal of the plan which was approved by FEMA in 2010. When complete, county officials said the HMP will allow continued and increased access to grant money.

"Such a plan sets the stage for long-term disaster resistance through identification of actions that will, over time, reduce the exposure of people and property to identifiable hazard," according to a statement from the county.

The plan also identifies hazards in two categories, natural and man-made.

The natural threats are severe thunderstorms, winter storms, flooding, tornadoes, drought, wildfire and earthquakes.

"Our biggest threat continues to be weather related incidents," Penny Clack, Barrow County Deputy EMA Director said.

The man-made threats include hazardous materials release and dam failures.

"Hazardous Materials release is the largest area of concern on the technological side. The threat of a release not only comes from local industry, but also of concern in the railway, interstate, and highways criss-crossing the community carrying tons of hazardous materials every day," Clack added.

The county hired Atlanta-based engineering and consulting firm, Atkins for work on the plan. Officials also appointed a committee of stakeholders and public safety, public works, public health and government officials from the county and its municipalities.

County officials said they want citizen involvement, starting with the kickoff meeting January 8.

Meeting information:

1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Board of commissioners meeting room
233 E. Broad Street
Winder, GA 30680

For more information:

Penny Clack
(770) 307-2987
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