In 1998, Seminole County was provided a federal grant through the State of Florida to develop a Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS). This was a State of Florida initiative that was implemented to help reduce the spiraling costs of disasters. The LMS identifies specific hazards, man-made, natural, and technological, that could negatively impact the community, and as such, have created a strategy to try and mitigate our community against those disasters. In 2000, the Federal Government passed what is now 44 CFR 201 & 206 (Code of Federal Regulations) that requires local communities across the country to formally create LMS’s similar in concept to what the State of Florida created in 1998.
What is mitigation?
Mitigation is the effort to reduce or eliminate the risks of injury and damage to both people and property during potential disaster events. This mitigation can be through construction projects or through educational outreach programs.
Some types of mitigation construction:
- Hurricane shutters for a home, business, or government building.
- Hurricane roof clips or re-enforcement.
- Installation of tornado safe rooms.
- Elevation of a flood vulnerable building or home.
- Flood proofing a home or business.
- Drainage improvement projects that reduce or eliminate local flooding.
- Road/bridge improvement projects.
- Educational programs to educate our community on things they can do to protect and mitigate their families, their employees, and their property against potential disaster.
The LMS established a group of public and private members of our community that have evaluated Seminole County and its potential hazards and created a guiding document that identified a strategy to mitigate the community against the identified hazards. From that guiding document, a prioritized project list is maintained in attempts to mitigate the community against hazards.
The LMS plan has no regulatory authority. However, it clearly identifies a strategy to mitigate our community from future natural disasters. The LMS plan provides suggestions and recommendations on how the County could improve regulatory standards in planning documents, such as the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. All recommendations will encourage building “better”, moving forward into the future, and accomplishing what we have defined in our county mission statement:
“To provide efficient, responsive services that enhance our quality of life, meet common needs, and promote a safe and healthy community.”
Should agencies or jurisdictions inside the County not wish to participate, they will merely not be eligible to receive a piece of what is projected to be $50 million each year in a nationally competitive grant program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created detailed criteria that direct the planning/guiding document. With these new requirements, the State of Florida and Seminole County have decided to participate in this process to remain eligible for various disaster grant programs.
This year, Seminole County is revising the LMS to produce a very comprehensive mitigation strategy taking advantage of new technology and information. The final product will better identify hazards and allow better estimated damages from a disaster event before disaster ever strikes. This will allow the working group to target the most vulnerable infrastructures first.
The primary LMS members are those government and quasi-government, non-profit, agencies who are eligible to apply for grant program funding as defined by the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, 44 CFR 201.2. However, meetings are open to the general public and anyone wishing to attend the meetings is welcome to do so. The next meeting times are posted on the Emergency Management training calendar.
Mitigation projects may be submitted before/after regular meetings to:
Mitigation / Recovery Coordinator
Office of Emergency Management
150 Eslinger Way
Sanford, FL 32773
Seminole County's Local Mitigation Strategy Basic Plan
Floodplain Management Plan
Community Wildfire Protection Plan