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Irene, Sandy, Athena... What’s Next? Help Make East Haven Less Vulnerable to Disasters

The South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCROG) wants your input for developing a multi-jurisdiction hazard mitigation plan so East Haven and surrounding towns can become better prepared for disasters.

Officials from East Haven spent countless hours preparing the town for Sandy’s strike. Following the storm, they put in even more hours to help keep residents stay safe and clean-up the mess. Now East Haven and several other area towns are asking you to give back by participating in a hazard mitigation survey.

“The South Central Regional Council of Governments [SCROG] has been awarded a grant from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to develop a Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan for Bethany, Branford, Hamden, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge. The five additional municipalities in the Region (East Haven, Guilford, Meriden, Milford, and New Haven) have completed or are currently working on Hazard Mitigation Plans. They have been invited to participate in this planning process,” SCROG’s website says. They are looking for residents to participate in a brief survey about disaster planning and preparedness.

“The purpose of this plan is to identify and assess the region’s natural hazard risks (such as flooding, winter storms, tornadoes and wildfires) and determine how to best minimize or manage those risks,” the survey says.

“Upon completion, this plan will be presented to the local governing bodies of participating jurisdictions for adoption and then submitted to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review and approval.” The plan should be in the state approval process by October, 2013. 

The survey asks questions about your personal experience with natural disasters and specifically asks you to rank, by importance, categories that are most susceptible to hazards in East Haven. Reflecting on Irene and more recently Sandy, what area do you think is most susceptible?

  • People (loss of life)
  • Economic (business interruption, loss of jobs)
  • Infrastructure (damage to roads bridges utilities, schools)
  • Governance (ability to maintain order and provide public service)
  • Culture/historic (damage to libraries, museums, or history property)
  • Environmental (damage, contamination or loss of forest, wetlands, waterways) 

SCRCOG Hazard Mitigation Public Opinion Survey

Momauguin Joe November 12, 2012 at 01:33 PM
All of the listed areas are susceptible to various degrees of damage. Far and away though, the most susceptible area is the Environmental damage, caused by destruction of wetlands by overdevelopment, in turn, destroyed by nature disaster. Wetlands are there for a reason; not to be landfilled and built upon. They support wildlife and control tidal flooding. "People, Economic, Infrastructure, Governance, Culture/Historic" wouldn't be affected at all if the environmental damage hadn't been started by man. Contrast these aerial photographs of East Haven following the 1938 hurricane with the development in place there today. By 1938, the beachfront was by and large already overbuilt; but large tracts of wetlands still existed beyond the beach areas. 74 years later and we have hardly any wetlands left in place in East Haven that haven't been filled in and built upon. http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4005coll10/id/9062/rec/54 http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4005coll10/id/9063/rec/55 http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4005coll10/id/9064/rec/56 http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4005coll10/id/9065/rec/57 http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4005coll10/id/9066/rec/58 Mother Nature doesn't care about beachfront properties, private clubs, manmade beaches or landfill. She will reclaim what is hers in due course. If the SCROG study is valid, it will come to the same conclusion.
Richard Poulton November 12, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Photo sites very interesting. The readers should also be aware that the wetland & watercourse legislation currently in statute as found under Chapter 440 of the CGS didn't become law until Public Act 695 was installed in 1969. All tidal wetland areas fall under the jurisdiction of the DEEP. Local municipalities have no say in what transpires in these identified areas. But, in 1972 via PA 155, local inland wetland/watercourse legislation was written and in 1993 the Municipal Inland Wetland & Watercourse Act came about, as found in current CGS. This allows local authorities the right to formulate a wetlands commission such as we have today. But, local commission only has authority to inforce activities occuring in what are called "inland wetlands", totally different then what tidal areas are.
Paul Fiore November 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I thought I would point this out but the National Weather Service doesn't officially name their winter storms.

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