City Disaster Plan Ready For Review

Jan 20, 2016

Homer Fire Engine
Credit Photo courtesy of the City of Homer

The City of Homer is almost finished updating a plan designed to prevent bad outcomes in the event of natural disaster.

“Such as flooding and addressing coastal erosion by relocating communities or structures that are in threatened areas,” said Chief Bob Painter. 

Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Painter led the effort to update the ‘All Hazard Mitigation Plan’. The plan must be reviewed every five years or else the city can’t get key funding from the federal government.

“Once the city adopts it then it goes to the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for review. Then they pass it on to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) region 10 in Washington state. They review it and once they approve it then it becomes the adopted plan for the city and part of the borough All Hazard Mitigation Plan,” said Painter.

Painter expects the FEMA review to be fairly straightforward. 

The biggest change to the updated plan is a section devoted to possible manmade hazards, specifically interruptions to residents’ power.

“We do have natural gas to the community but it’s a very tenuous…it’s a single branch distribution line that comes down from Anchor Point. Although it’s fairly resilient, it is only one line so we don’t have any redundancy to that,” said Painter. 

The plan is on the city’s website so the public can review it and leave comments. It is scheduled to be approved and adopted by the Homer City Council at their regular meeting on January 25th.