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Firm Armed with Public Feedback to Develop Ocean County’s All Hazards Mitigation Plan

The public brings up concerns that were both predictable and unpredictable during meetings aimed at collecting feedback to help craft Ocean County’s All Hazards Mitigation Plan.

Sarah Bowen, Planning Department Mgr, Michael Baker Jr. Inc., (Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media NJ)

During a recent public hearing in Stafford at the Ocean County Southern Service Center Monday, Sarah Bowen of Pennsylvania-based engineering firm Michael Baker Jr. says there was a concern about home elevation brought up that they didn’t consider.

Bowen says “I had heard that one of the concerns about elevation was that a lot of the homes down the shore here, people are planning to retire in and so the idea of needing to haul up an extra set of stairs to get into what was originally a one-floor home was troubling to some people who saw that their mobility might decrease with age.”

She says the areas of greatest concern among participants were flooding related hazards, storm related hazards and the consequences of storms such as power outages and utility failure of all types.

Pictures of Possible Hazards at the OC Hazard Mitigation Meeting in Stafford (Tom Mongelli Townsquare Media)

Bowen says they also spoke to local officials in every municipality in the county to get their feedback as well. She says they’ll be taking all the information they gathered and develop the All Hazards Mitigation Plan during the summer. She says a draft plan will be available for public review in September. There will also be public hearings to review the draft plan.

However, if you could not physically attend any of the public forums you can still have input. Bowen says they’ll be posting a brief survey online at OceanCountyHMP.com. She says it’s a pretty basic survey that asks people questions about what’s important to them about hazard mitigation? and also about how they best receive information?

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