Discussion launches hazard mitigation planning

The Town launched its update of the hazard mitigation plan on Monday with more than 30 people attending a discussion and asking questions via Zoom to encourage residents to interact and contribute ideas.

A hazard mitigation plan is a plan that identifies natural hazards, such as flooding, snowstorms and high extreme temperatures, then develops actions to mitigate and minimize those natural hazards. Once a plan is adopted, it will allow the town of Marblehead to apply for pre and post disaster hazard mitigation Grant funds. 

A grant will be issued from Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to pay for Jamie Kaplan Consulting, LLC’s expertise.

Jamie Kaplan, principal of the consulting company, spoke about the hazard mitigation plan.

“When you spend pre-disaster dollars, you’re in fact saving. For every dollar you spend, you’re saving approximately six dollars on future losses. So, it’s definitely cost effective to mitigate risk,” said Kaplan. 

During the meeting, speakers utilized menti.com  to allow audience responses to be shown directly on the presentation’s screen. In this way, almost like an instant survey, discussion facilitators could know what and where residents care and worry about in town.

Questions answered by residents included “what buildings and infrastructure are critical to your community,” “what weather-related hazards can impact your community,” “name specific locations in communities that are vulnerable to natural hazards.”

Many residents answered that breakwaters can be built to mitigate risks against tides and storm surges. This raised interest to Kaplan as a priority. Other residents preferred improvement on “early warning to the public,” and “seawall repairs.”

More hazard mitigation plans and public hearings will be held, and more questions could be submitted to jamie@jamiecaplan.com or contact 4135860867.