Coordinating a Multi-Jurisdictional Outreach Strategy

If you are developing a multi-jurisdictional plan, the outreach strategy creates a mechanism for coordination and accountability among the jurisdictions. For each jurisdiction seeking plan approval, the plan must document how they were involved in the planning process, including how they provided opportunities for the involvement of their stakeholders and the public.

Specific stakeholders may be identified for each participating jurisdiction, and public involvement activities should be designed to reach citizens throughout the planning area. The planning team may develop one set of outreach materials, which each jurisdiction is responsible for distributing or hosting to reach their stakeholders and citizens. Another good approach is to develop one presentation, or a series of presentations on the plan’s progress, that jurisdictional representatives can deliver at a regularly scheduled open meeting of their city council or governing body. This is a good method to keep elected officials informed of the planning project and to give the public an opportunity to be informed and provide comments.

Best Practice

New Hanover County, NC

New Hanover County required participation from each jurisdiction on its Mitigation Advisory Committee. The committee convened meetings in which all participating jurisdictions were required to attend.  In addition, the committee conducted a public survey to solicit feedback from people who could not attend the meeting. Each municipality adopted the plan and provided opportunities for public comment.

“To satisfy multi-jurisdictional participation requirements, each of the local jurisdictions was required to perform the following tasks:

  1. Designate an appropriate official(s) to serve on the Mitigation Advisory Committee;
  2. Participate in all mitigation planning meetings and workshops;
  3. Provide best available data as required for the risk assessment portion of the Plan;
  4. Complete the local Capability Assessment Survey and provide copies of any mitigation or hazard-related documents for review and incorporation into the Plan;
  5. Support the development of a countywide Mitigation Strategy, including the design and adoption of general goal statements for all jurisdictions to pursue;
  6. Develop a local Mitigation Action Plan with specific mitigation actions for their jurisdiction;
  7. Review and provide timely comments on all draft components of the Plan;
  8. Adopt the New Hanover County Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, including their specific local Mitigation Action Plan.”