County holds meeting for emergency management plan

Municipal representatives from Elk County held a meeting at the Courthouse Annex Building Wednesday night for a briefing on an All-Hazard Mitigation Plan that is to be developed by consulting firm Michael Baker Jr., Inc. and adopted as Elk County's Emergency Management Plan."About six years ago we started working on the county's hazard mitigation plan," said Mike McAllister, Elk County Emergency Management Representative. "If you recall back then all of the municipalities went through a lot of what we just did again with projects to help with mitigating disasters if money has come available."The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires the county's emergency mitigation plan be redone or revisited every five years."And part of the plan that we have been working on includes the flood map," McAllister said. "The flood mitigation that we were doing was originally started when we developed the West End issues."Since we are at the five-year mark, the state had the ability to come up and generate funds and hired Michael Baker Jr., Inc."Michael Baker Jr., Inc. was hired by state officials to redo and update all of Elk County's hazard and mitigation planning, and works directly with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). "When all is finished there will be 33 Pennsylvania counties that we've updated to the new standards," said environmental specialist Taryn Murray for Michael Baker Jr., Inc.Part of the planning process required by PEMA for the development and adoption of the hazard mitigation plan requires a public meeting with all of the county's municipalities, which was the reason for Wednesday night's meeting.