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Westchester County has developed a citizen preparedness survey, in an effort to call on local residents to help update the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). A series of public meetings will be part of the plan development process.Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “This plan will help Westchester County be more prepared and allow for federal funding in the event of a natural disaster. It will increase awareness for all of us, making the County less vulnerable to risks and in better shape to tackle whatever lies in front of us.”Department of Emergency Services Commissioner Richard G. Wishnie said: “Westchester County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan Update process is of paramount importance in continuing to ensure that the County, and its municipal partners, are able to accurately classify risks and hazards. The adoption of this plan, in turn, allows the County and local municipalities to access FEMA grant funds for ongoing mitigation and community resiliency measures that protects our citizens and their property. The Department of Emergency Services looks forward to collaborating with our planning partners to successfully complete this critically important initiative.”Natural disasters like flooding, hurricanes and blizzards are assessed during Hazard Mitigation Planning. Strategies are also developed to reduce disaster impacts and break the cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeated losses. Hazard Mitigation Plans are also required to receive FEMA grant funding.These natural hazards cause millions of dollars in damage annually throughout Westchester County. Other potential hazards like extreme temperatures and wildfires seen ravaging other parts of the United States are becoming more of a possibility everywhere.The survey will be open until September 30, 2021 and results will be included in the draft plan for public review in November.For more information, visit their website.