January 7, 2022
Public Comment Sought for County’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan
Stevens County has completed an updated draft of its Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP) and is
now seeking public feedback on it. Citizens can find a link to review the plan and offer feedback
by visiting z.umn.edu/stevens_hmp. The review and comment period are open through Thursday,
January 20, 2022. After that, the county will submit the draft plan to the State of Minnesota and
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review.
The Stevens County MHMP is a multi-jurisdictional plan that covers Stevens County, including the
cities of Alberta, Chokio, Donnelly, Hancock, and Morris. The Stevens County MHMP also
incorporates the concerns and needs of townships, school districts, and other stakeholders
participating in the plan.
Stevens County is vulnerable to a variety of potential natural disasters, which threaten the loss of
life and property in the county. The plan addresses how to mitigate against hazards such as
tornadoes, flooding, wildland fires, blizzards, straight-line winds, ice storms, and droughts which
have the potential for inflicting vast economic loss and personal hardship.
Update of the plan has been under direction of Stevens County Emergency Management in
cooperation with U-Spatial at the University of Minnesota Duluth and representatives from
County departments, city and township governments, school districts, and other key stakeholders.
Together, the planning team worked to identify cost-effective and sustainable actions to reduce or
eliminate the long-term risk to human life or property from natural hazards. Some examples
include improvement of roads and culverts that experience repetitive flooding; construction of
safe rooms at campgrounds, public parks, mobile home parks or schools to protect lives in the
event of tornados or severe wind events; burying powerlines that may fail due to heavy snow, ice
or wind storms; ensuring timely emergency communication to the public through warning sirens
and mass notification systems, and conducting public awareness and education campaigns to help
people be prepared to take safe action before, during, or following a hazard event.
Hazard mitigation planning helps Stevens County and other jurisdictions protect their residents.
Working with local communities through the process helps identify vulnerabilities and develop
strategies to reduce or eliminate the effects of a potential hazard. In addition, increasing public
awareness of local hazards and disaster preparedness helps to create a community that is resilient
to disaster, and breaks the cycle of response and recovery. Updating the plan further allows the
County and its jurisdictions to apply for eligible projects under future Hazard Mitigation Assistance
(HMA) grant funding from FEMA for projects that are cost-effective and will help to reduce or
eliminate impacts of future natural disaster events.
Community feedback is vital to the success of the plan. Stevens County invites public review and
feedback of the draft plan prior to submitting it to the State of Minnesota and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review. Feedback may be provided via the online
comment form or directly to Stevens County Emergency Management.
Stevens County Emergency Management Director