If you are developing a multi-jurisdictional plan, you will need to create a planning team structure that allows for coordination and accountability among and within the jurisdictions (see Figure 2.1). Each jurisdiction will have at least one representative on the planning team. This representative will need to report back to their community on a regular basis, as well as gather feedback and input for the plan. Another planning team model may include a core group of individuals from each jurisdiction participating on the planning team. The method of representation should be based on each community’s size and the level of effort required to assess unique risks and develop specific mitigation actions.
Monmouth County, NJ
The Multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for Monmouth County, New Jersey included 53 municipalities that required an organizational structure to facilitate inter- and intra-governmental coordination. The overall Planning Committee was divided into one Core Planning Group and 53 separate Jurisdictional Assessment Teams—one for each participating jurisdiction.
Core Planning Group
The Core Planning Group (CPG) was made up of County Steering Committee members and leaders from each Jurisdictional Assessment Team. CPG members were typically representatives of their local emergency management, engineering, planning, GIS, administration, public works, building, or highway departments. The CPG managed the overall plan activities and directly contributed to the decision making process.
Jurisdictional Assessment Teams
The Jurisdictional Assessment Teams (JAT) were headed by a Team Leader who served and represented their interests on the CPG. JATs included broader representation from within the individual jurisdictions, and many chose to align their JAT with an existing Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The JATs were responsible for local community involvement and were required to:
- Coordinate and facilitate local efforts.
- Attend meetings.
- Provide information and feedback.
- Involve the public and community stakeholders in the planning process.
- Assess mitigation alternatives.
- Select a course of action to be followed for their communities.
- Adopt the plan.
- Implement the plan and monitor its progress.
This organizational structure was successfully implemented for the County’s initial plan development and is maintained for plan updates.
Coastal Council Bend of Governments, TX
The Coastal Council Bend of Governments, which included 22 municipalities and counties, required that each participating municipality establish a subcommittee to be headed by the Hazard Mitigation Coordinator.
“As an initial step, letters were mailed to the Chief Elected Official of each municipality within the original tri-county area, inviting formal participation in the planning project. All but the smallest rural communities accepted. The next step was to formalize the relationship between the participants; therefore, an Interlocal Agreement was developed under the applicable provisions of Texas State law. Under this agreement, each jurisdiction executed a Notice of Participation and appointed a Hazard Mitigation Coordinator (HMC). The Agreement was later extended to the four additional counties and their municipalities.”