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AVALON - Cape May County residents who are concerned about the impact of flooding, storms, and other events in their communities are now encouraged to participate in the mandatory update of the county's hazard mitigation plan, which addresses risks and threats in all 16 municipalities. 

According to a release, participation in this project takes only a few minutes, and responses will be shared with municipal, state, county, and federal entities for planning purposes only.

“This is the ideal opportunity for citizens throughout the county to let us know what hazards exist in their community during natural catastrophic events," stated Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton. “The Cape May County Department of Emergency Management is conducting a major update to the 2016 plan, and public participation will help us plan for resiliency and recovery on a local, county, and more regional level”.

These questions are for information gathering only, and responses will be shared with municipal, state, federal and county entities for planning purposes only. To access the citizen survey, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CMC2020HMP.

The 2016 hazard mitigation plan update focuses on existing and future buildings, infrastructure, and critical facilities that might be impacted by natural disasters. Ultimately, the mitigation projects identified and implemented will reduce vulnerability and enable communities to become more resilient to disasters.

To date, the county has completed a risk assessment to identify hazards that may impact Cape May County and its municipalities, profiled the relevant hazards and their potential consequences, identified assets that are subject to losses or damage, and estimated the potential losses that could result from each type of hazard. The county and its municipalities have now begun the development of a hazard mitigation strategy. The strategy will include the identification of hazard mitigation goals as well as a prioritized list of actions designed to reduce losses.

“If you recognize a hazard in your community during any natural event, we would like to hear from you”, stated Cape May County Emergency Management Director Martin Pagliughi. “This department is working in lockstep with leaders and officials from your community to identify these hazards. No one knows their towns better than its citizens, and now is the time to take this survey and help us plan for your resiliency and safety, and may open the door for your community to get future funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make these projects a reality."

Examples of grant-eligible projects include home acquisitions or elevations – to either remove houses located in the floodplain to generate open space and increase flood storage or to raise their first floor above the FEMA base flood elevation – and local flood control measures.

Information about the Hazard Mitigation Plan is posted on the Cape May County HMP plan website, at athttps://www.capemaycounty2020hmp.com/.  

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