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Public comment sought for Merced County emergency-response plan

Emergency responders are asking for public input for a new hazard-response plan under construction in Merced County.

The Merced County Hazard Mitigation Project will identify and prioritize various future projects designed to reduce the effects of potential natural disasters.

The public is encouraged to participate in the planning process by completing a survey on the project’s Web page at www.mercedhazmit.com. In addition to mitigating the effects of potential natural disasters, developing the plan allows the county to maintain eligibility for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state Office of Emergency Services, spokesman Jeremy Rahn said.

“The sooner people can take the online survey, the better,” Rahn said. “This is an opportunity for the public to be involved and work with us to develop potential actions to respond to future hazards.”

The county and all six city governments are participating in the plan’s development.

Feedback from the public will be considered by the Hazard Mitigation Planning Team and possibly incorporated as part of the planning process and preparation for hazards. Major funding for the project comes from a grant provided by the state Office of Emergency Services.

“This is a way for us to go out and evaluate our infrastructure ahead of time and to see where we would need to put our resource in the event of (a natural disaster),” Rahn said. “It also allows us to determine how federal (disaster relief funds) would possibly be distributed in the event of an emergency declaration.”

For more information, contact Jeremy Rahn at (209) 385-7548.

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