HAMPTON ROADS — The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), which is the regional organization which works to facilitate local government cooperation, has released a draft of its 2022 Hazard Mitigation Plan.
The plan, which is updated every five years, provides guidance and strategies for managing the various potential disasters that impact Hampton Roads throughout the year, including hurricanes, flooding, and sea level rise.
The main objective laid out by the HRPDC is to save lives and property in the event that hazard mitigation plans need to be implemented during a natural disaster. It also provides a detailed analysis on each locality within Hampton Roads such as population, density, history of past disasters and how those have impacted each community.
The process for collecting the data from the 25 participating jurisdictions, including the City of Williamsburg as well as James City and York counties, began in February 2021. In the time since, HRPDC gathered data from local governments and private citizens as well as assessing any risks that might impact the region.
The draft of the mitigation plan is currently 576 pages long and goes into detail on the statistical likelihood of every possible natural disaster that might hit southeastern Virginia and how it would effect each specific locality.
The draft will be available on the HRPDC website until March 9. The commission will also accept public comment on the plan until it is taken down for revision.
The HRPC will host an informational zoom meeting for citizens on March 2 at 6 p.m. Those who wish to attend should register by clicking here.
To finalize the plan, government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, as well as all of the localities involved will have to approve the plan before it is finalized.