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Planning Ahead for Disaster Recovery

September 2nd 2020


Every five years the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires counties to update their pre-disaster mitigation plans to qualify for both pre-disaster and post-disaster mitigation assistance.

WGM Group, Inc., (WGM Group) in coordination with Mineral County and the St. Regis Resort District, will be taking a broad look at natural disasters and a few manmade hazards that could affect Mineral County. We will be examining everything from wildland fires and floods to pandemics or hazmat spills, and looking at how the County would prepare and respond to each scenario.

Pre-disaster mitigation plans review the hazards the community is exposed to, evaluates the areas and population that may be vulnerable to the hazards, and assesses the potential for future hazards and their impacts on the community. The plans identify methods and projects to mitigate hazards and prioritize projects based on need and effectiveness.

WGM Group has been contracted by the St. Regis Resort District to provide technical assistance, risk assessment, and models of different scenarios, as well as mitigation strategies for Mineral County as an update to the 2012 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. The current 2012 plan will be used as the foundation document, with changes and revisions being added as necessary.

Public workshops will be hosted in Superior, St. Regis, and Alberton to review the current draft plan, and discuss any additional hazards not currently identified. The workshop is designed as an open forum for discussion where public input will be collected and incorporated into the plan.

The workshops will be held in person and via the Zoom Platform at the following locations & times:
September 14, 2020, at 5:00 PM in the Alberton Community Center, 701 Railroad Avenue, Alberton, MT
September 15, 2020, at 5:00 PM in the Commissioner’s Conference Room, Superior, MT
September 16, 2020, at 5:00 PM in the St. Regis Community Center, 23 Lobo Loop, St. Regis, MT
Zoom Access Via Web: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85838204458?pwd=RHlHK3l6UnNFRnVhQ3Zya1lId2RoQT09 Zoom Access Via Phone: (253) 215-8782 Meeting ID: 858 3820 4458 Passcode: 370239

The workshops will be provided in three locations for convenience. Each workshop will review the same material.

Once the pre-disaster plan is complete, it will be submitted to Montana Disaster and Emergency Services and FEMA as a requirement of the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and allow the County to qualify for pre-disaster and post-disaster mitigation assistance and grants. Timing is of the essence though. A grant application window will open this fall and close at the end of January 2021. Timely public participation in these workshops is essential for meeting the requirements of FEMA and the applicable grant funding sources.

Additional project information and comments can be made on the project website: https://www.wgmgroup.com/current-projects. For more information, please join us at the public workshop or contact Stuart Ellsworth, WGM Group at (406)728-4611.