On October 30, 2000, the President signed into law the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, also known as DMA 2000. Among its other features, DMA 2000 established a requirement that in order to remain eligible for federal disaster assistance and grant funds, local and state governments must develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans. On February 26, 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that set forth the guidance and regulations under which such plans are supposed to be developed. The IFR provides detailed descriptions of both the planning process that states and localities are required to observe and the contents of the plan that emerges. In December 2010 the Union County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (the Plan) was developed to satisfy these requirements.

The original plan was approved by FEMA and adopted by the County on December 8, 2010. In the spring of 2014 Union County initiated a Plan update to the 2010 version as part of the 5-year maintenance cycle required to keep the plan current. Of the 21 municipalities that lie within Union County, 20 participated in the Plan update. All participating municipalities are listed in Section 2.1.2.

The purpose of a mitigation plan is to rationalize the process of determining appropriate hazard mitigation actions. Hazard mitigation is often defined as actions taken to reduce the effects of natural hazards on a place and its population. Union County decided to develop the original 2010 Plan because of increasing awareness that natural hazards, especially flood and wind, have the potential to affect people, physical assets and operations in Union County. The 2015 Union County HMP update included a re-evaluation of the original hazards, the risk assessment, mitigation goals, strategies, and mitigation priorities. As part of the update process, these sections of the Plan were re-assessed to identify changes and updates that may have occurred since approval and adoption of the original Plan.

Although risk assessments have been completed for each hazard, the risk section of the Plan update focuses on six natural hazards and two technological/manmade hazards (hazards ranked high) with the highest potential for damaging physical assets, people, and operations in Union County. These hazards are flood, storm surge, high wind–straight-line winds, hazardous material releases–fixed sites, hazardous material releases–transportation, severe storm–winter weather, extreme temperatures– cold and extreme temperatures–heat. Both the risk assessment and mitigation action plan sections reflect this emphasis, which was the result of careful consideration by the 2015 Union County Hazard.

To submit your public comments, please e-mail HazardMitigationPlan@ucnj.org.

Please note: the City of Elizabeth is not included in this plan.  The City has opted to maintain their own plan.