Continuing Public Outreach over Time

The outreach strategy should address both the planning process and how to keep people engaged after the plan’s adoption. Outreach should continue after the plan is adopted to communicate with the community about hazards and risks, builds support for implementation of mitigation activities, and informs the outreach strategy for the next plan update process. Ongoing public outreach is discussed further in Task 7.

Element A5

The plan maintenance process shall include a discussion on how the community will continue public participation in the plan maintenance process.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(4)(iii)

The plan must describe how the jurisdictions will continue public participation during the plan’s implementation and maintenance.

The outreach activities conducted during the planning process are a good source of ideas for how to continue to involve stakeholders and the public during plan maintenance and implementation. Consider repeating successful outreach events annually. Other examples of activities for continued public participation include periodic presentations on the plan’s progress to elected officials, schools, or other community groups; annual questionnaires or surveys; postings on social media and email lists; and interactive websites. You may help build capabilities throughout the planning area by assigning the responsibility for coordinating these activities to a staff member in each jurisdiction.

Best Practices

Maricopa County, AZ

Maricopa County was chosen as a best practice because the Continued Public Involvement section of its plan, seen below, documents the inclusion of a number of means of sustaining public input: maintaining a permanent website; having the committee participate in public events such as fairs; and targeting training activities to relevant populations.

maricopa continued

Elmore County, ID

Elmore County was chosen as a best practice because it goes above and beyond FEMA requirements by requiring public annual reviews and updates of its hazard mitigation plan in addition to requiring a five-year update. The suggested annual review agenda as outlined in the plan is shown below.

Annual Review Agenda

The focus of the joint planning committee at the annual review meeting should include at least the following topics:

  • Update historical events record based on any events in the past year.
  • Review county profile and individual community assessments for each hazard and note any major changes or mitigation projects that have altered the vulnerability of each entity.
  • Add a section to note accomplishments or current mitigation projects.
  • All action items in Chapter 6 will need updated as projects are completed and as new needs or issues are identified.
  • Address Emergency Operations Plans – how can we dovetail the two plans to make them work for each other? Specifically, how do we incorporate the County’s EOP into the action items for the regional MHMP?
  • Address Updated County Comprehensive Land Use Plans – how can we dovetail the two plans to make them work for each other?
  • Incorporate additional hazard chapters as funding allows.

 All meeting minutes, press releases, and other documentation of revisions should be kept on record by Elmore County Emergency Management.