The Albany County Emergency Management Agency is asking for public comments and feedback on the Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan is a federal requirement which not only helps to identify hazards, but also explores means to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities to those hazards.

Albany County Emergency Management Coordinator Aimee Binning says that Wyoming is a self-sufficient state when it comes to emergencies. While many who live in Wyoming plan ahead when it comes to storing food, traveling, and being prepared for winter weather, she says that the purpose of the Mitigation Plan in this state comes down to things communities need as a whole.

“The reason we want the community’s input is because Wyoming’s plans may be different because many of our community members are more resilient,” says Binning. “So, some of the things that we identified were what we could do as a government entity to lessen the impact on personal property and individuals when there is a weather related event.”

She says the plan was drafted through the help of the community. Through a survey and meeting process, residents in Albany County identified the most likely natural events that would happen here. In addition, the history of events in Albany County were considered.

After those high-risk events are identified, a plan is created on how to lessen the impact of those emergencies.

Multiple projects have been identified on the Draft Mitigation Plan to lessen impacts of a variety of emergencies and disasters. Those projects finalized in the plan will be worked on over the next five year. Binning says these projects are what the public will likely be most interested in.

“We have Section Six that identifies the projects that we want to focus on with the specific hazards, and then each goal is associated with the hazards that were pre-identified in the plan. Then under those goals is the projects, and those projects are specific to the hazards,” says Binning.

She says that this is an important step in finalizing the Mitigation Plan, which is ultimately used when allocating funding for specific projects.

The public comment period is open until January 20, 2015. Those wanting to comment or provide feedback on the Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan may do so by e-mailing Aimee Binning at ema@co.albany.wy.us. For those who do not have access to email, letters may be sent to 501 East Ivinson, Laramie, WY 82070. The envelope should be addressed to EMA or Emergency Management Agency.

The Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan may be viewed on the Albany County website. Section Six of the plan, which includes the projects begins on page 215 of the PDF document.