greenLRAppendix A - Federal Requirements for Local
Appendix C - 2004 Plan Implementation StatusgreenR

Appendices

2009 Marshall County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan


Community Mitigation Capabilities

Scope and Methodology

This report is an in-depth assessment of community mechanisms that can affect hazard mitigation activities in a jurisdiction. The purpose of this examination is to determine the capabilities of Marshall County and its participating jurisdictions to implement mitigation strategies. Moreover, this assessment identifies any existing gaps or weaknesses that could hinder proposed mitigation activities and possibly exacerbate community hazard vulnerability. The results of this assessment help determine the types of mitigation activities a local government can realistically undertake over its five-year action program framework. This report also helps evaluate whether a proposed mitigation action is deemed practical when considering the local participating jurisdiction's ability to implement the action. It is important to review these mechanisms and assess whether they might either facilitate or hinder alternative hazard mitigation actions under consideration for each community mitigation action program included in Chapter 6 Mitigation Strategy.

This capabilities assessment examines six components, as follows: (1) planning and regulatory tools, (2) GIS resources, (3) staffing and administrative resources, (4) fiscal resources, (5) public education and awareness programs, and (6) ISO ratings. Local governments can use these components to enhance their capacity to carry out hazard mitigation actions and projects.

The information found in this report was derived from surveys and interviews of local government representatives regarding each of the community's current capabilities. A comprehensive questionnaire was distributed by the planning team to all participating jurisdictions. The questionnaire requested information on a variety of community initiatives, such as existing local plans, policies, programs, and ordinances that contribute to or hinder the local capabilities to implement hazard mitigation actions. Other surveyed information relates to participating jurisdictions' fiscal, administrative and technical capabilities, including access to budgetary and personnel resources for mitigation purposes.

The tables which follow show the participating jurisdictions' responses to the community capabilities questionnaire and interviewing processes. Explanations of findings accompany the tables.


Summary of Results

Planning and Regulatory Capabilities

GIS Technical Capabilities

Fiscal Capabilities

Public Education and Awareness Capabilities

ISO Capabilities

Planning and Regulatory Tools

This section is an inventory of planning and regulatory tools in place by Marshall County jurisdictions to facilitate hazard mitigation through prevention measures.

Comprehensive planning can establish a vehicle for instituting and acknowledging local support for hazard mitigation goals. Comprehensive land use plans provide a growth management mechanism to prevent or discourage development in hazardous areas or restrict development in a manner that minimizes damage from hazards. Community facilities planning can ensure the protection of public infrastructure investments from future damages caused by natural and human-made hazards. Planning initiatives to promote community sustainability and smart growth should be fully integrated with related mitigation-related goals and objectives in local plans.

Regulatory tools used for planning and development can also be used to address hazard mitigation. Local governments can administer zoning ordinances, capital improvements plans, building and technical codes, floodplain management ordinances, erosion and sedimentation control ordinances, storm water management and detention standards, conservation subdivision provisions, hillside protection requirements, and a range of other regulatory tools to manage growth and land development. The planning and regulatory tools currently used by each jurisdiction are listed in Table B-1.

Table B-1. Planning and Regulatory Tools

Planning and Regulatory Tools

Marshall County

Albertville

Arab

Boaz

Guntersville

Douglas

Grant

Union Grove

Adopted 2004 Hazard Mitigation Plan

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Comprehensive Plan

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

N

Comprehensive Plan adopted d 5 years

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Zoning Ordinance

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Subdivision Regulations

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Building Codes

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Floodplain Management Ordinance

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Stormwater Management Regulations

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

N

Urban Forestry/Tree Protection Program

N

N

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Participates in Land Conservation/

Greenspace Program

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Hillside Protection Regulations

N

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

Open Burn Regulations

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y

N


GIS Resources

Communities' access to geographic information systems (GIS) and database management resources were the focus of this survey component. GIS resources were evaluated to assess the communities' existing GIS tools, access to GIS services and data, and capabilities to effectively gather, maintain, and manage relevant GIS data critical to hazard mitigation planning.

Marshall County's municipalities have limited GIS staffing capabilities and limited computer hardware and software resources for GIS. In these jurisdictions, Marshall County is providing GIS technical assistance and maintains critical geographic data that supports hazard mitigation planning and analysis. The City of Arab is in the process of developing their own Geographic Information System.

Table B-2 summarizes the GIS resources available to Marshall County jurisdictions.

Table B-2. GIS Resources

GIS Resources

Marshall County

Albertville

Arab

Boaz

Guntersville

Douglas

Grant

Union Grove

Access to a GIS Program

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Maintains its own GIS

Y

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

GIS Inventory of Natural Hazard Areas1

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

GIS Inventory of Critical Facilities1

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

1 Maintained by Marshall County Information Technology Department

Staffing and Administrative Resources

The following section includes an inventory of existing staffing and administrative resources that can be used for mitigation planning and implementation of some mitigation actions. Specific resources reviewed include those involving technical personnel that apply planning and engineering, floodplain management, building codes, and related consulting services needed to facilitate hazard mitigation in Marshall County. The ability of a local government to develop and implement mitigation projects, policies and programs is directly tied to staff resources that can be directed for that purpose. Administrative capabilities were evaluated by assessing whether there are adequate personnel resources to complete these mitigation activities.

The staffing and administrative capabilities of Marshall County and its participating jurisdictions are shown on Table B-3.

Table B-3. Staffing and Administrative Resources

Staffing and Administrative Resources

Marshall County

Albertville

Arab

Boaz

Guntersville

Douglas

Grant

Union Grove

Building Code Staff

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Staff assigned to administer floodplain ordinance

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Certified Floodplain Manager

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Professional Engineer on Staff

Y

N

N

N

Y+

N

N

N

Utilizes Engineering Consulting Services

N

N

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Professional Planning Staff

N

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

Participates in Regional Planning Program

Y

Y

N

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Utilizes Planning Consulting Service

N

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

+ Building Inspector is a P.E.

Fiscal Resources

The ability of local governments to undertake costly hazard mitigation projects and actions is a major constraint to effective hazard mitigation. This survey gathered information on Marshall County's fiscal capabilities through the identification of locally available financial resources and the local government's ability to compete for available mitigation grant resources. Table B-4 summarizes these fiscal resources.


Table B-4. Fiscal Resources

Fiscal Resources

Marshall County

Albertville

Arab

Boaz

Guntersville

Douglas

Grant

Union Grove

Submitted applications for FEMA mitigation grants

Y

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Awarded FEMA mitigation grants

Y

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Initiated mitigation projects funded by other sources

N

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

Has staff capable of writing grants

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Public Education and Awareness Programs

Local governments are strongly encouraged to initiate and maintain on-going public education and awareness programs. Such programs are among the most cost efficient mechanisms for hazard mitigation. These actions inform and educate citizens, elected officials, and property owners about potential risks of hazards and the available ways to mitigate potential property damages. Such actions include outreach projects, real estate disclosure, hazard information centers, and school-age and adult education programs. The table below summarizes the public education and outreach efforts of Marshall County jurisdictions. Most awareness activities are conducted jointly with the Marshall County EMA.

Table B-5. Public Education and Awareness Programs

Public Education and Awareness Programs

Marshall County

Albertville

Arab

Boaz

Guntersville

Douglas

Grant

Union Grove

On-going Awareness Program

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Special Program or Event for Education Awareness

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y


ISO Ratings

Each local government was surveyed to determine ratings in the following Insurance Services Office (ISO) programs: Community Rating System (CRS) Program, Property Protection Classification (PPC), and Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS). These rating systems provide valuable indicators of how the communities are reducing their hazard vulnerabilities through effective flood plain management, building code enforcement, and fire protection.

The CRS is an incentive-based program that encourages NFIP communities to undertake enhanced program measures to reduce the impacts of flooding. The CRS achieves these goals by encouraging communities to implement comprehensive flood plain mitigation programs that exceed the minimal requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Class Communities can be rewarded by reduced flood insurance premiums - a 5% reduction for each rating increase. The highest rating of 1 can reduce premiums by 45% and the CRS entry rating of 9 results in a 5% reduction. NFIP communities that do not participate are rated class 10 and receive no premium reduction benefit. Among the communities in Marshall County that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), none of the jurisdictions participate in the CRS Program.

For the Property Protection Classification (PPC), the ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each community, ISO analyzes the relevant data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). A PPC rating from 1 to 10 is assigned to each community. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO's minimum criteria.

The Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) assesses the building codes in effect in a particular community and how the community enforces them. A community's classification is based on administration of codes, review of building plans, and field inspections. The BCEGS program assigns each municipality a BCEGS grade of 1 (exemplary commitment to building-code enforcement) to 10 (no credit).

The ISO would not disclose BCGES and PPC ratings directly to the planning team which had to rely on local knowledge for this survey. The incomplete results of the ISO ratings survey are found on Table B-6.


Table B-6. Insurance Service Office (ISO) Ratings

Insurance Service Office (ISO) Ratings

Marshall County

Albertville

Arab

Boaz

Guntersville

Douglas

Grant

Union Grove

CRS Classification

10

10

10

10

10

NP

NP

NP

Property Protection Classification (PPC)

NR

2

4

5

5

5/9

7/9

NR

Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS)

NR

NR

6

5

5

NR

NA

NR

NP=Not Participating in the NFIP NR=No Response

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