VILLAGE OF RYE BROOK
Natural and human disasters can strike anywhere and anytime. There is no way to completely eliminate disasters, however communities can mitigate them with planning and preparation in the event they do occur. In order to accomplish this goal the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which requires local governments to have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan to be eligible to receive Hazard Mitigation Grant Plan (HMGP) funding.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) was established by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (The Stafford Act). The intent of the program is to effectively reduce future disaster damages, public expenditures, private losses and a community’s vulnerability to natural hazards. In conjunction with other hazard mitigation plans and programs, the HMGP provides an opportunity for municipalities to develop a comprehensive hazard mitigation program, which can be its best insurance against the impacts and costs of future disasters.
In accordance with The Disaster Mitigation Act, the Village of Rye Brook is in the process of developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Village applied for, and was awarded, funding through the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) to develop a mitigation plan. This plan will allow the Village to be eligible to receive further funding for disaster mitigation, as well as disaster relief, once the plan has been approved. The State funding has allowed the Village Board to hire a consultant, Frank Culross of Culross Associates Ltd., to coordinate Rye Brook’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. We expect to have a draft version of the mitigation plan completed in August 2005, at which time we will seek additional public input prior to the Village Board’s consideration of the final draft plan.
In addition, certain emergency service and other professionals working for the Village have specific knowledge of disaster prevention and response. They have been appointed to the Hazard Mitigation Plan Steering Committee in order to provide crucial input and direction throughout the process. These members include the Village Administrator, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Engineer, Acting Building Inspector, EMS Administrator and the Assistant to the Village Administrator.
The Village is also seeking the help of its residents in the development of the plan. The Village has created a “BLOG” website, which is linked to the Village of Rye Brook’s Homepage (www.ryebrook.org). The “BLOG” is an interactive forum, which allows feedback from both Village staff and the residents of Rye Brook. Anyone who visits this website will be able to post and view all comments or concerns about the plan. We have also posted on the website Rye Brook’s Hazard Analysis Report, prepared in July 2003, which identifies various potential hazards in Rye Brook and rates them in comparison to one another. We strongly encourage residents to read this report and post any comments or concerns on the “BLOG” website linked on the Village Homepage, www.ryebrook.org, or directly at www.ryebrookhazardmitigation.blogspot.com as this document will be relied upon in developing the Hazard Mitigation Plan. We look forward to reading your comments and thank you for your assistance.
Christopher J. Bradbury