by Janet Dabbs
Sunrise Beach trustees approved a resolution adopting the Camden County Hazard Mitigation Plan at their Monday, March 9 board of trustees meeting. City trustees deemed it important to adopt the plan to work toward a safer community, stating the city, however, is limited in their capabilities to construct a plan of this magnitude. According to trustees, the city of Sunrise Beach is expected to grow significantly during the next 20 years.

The village currently has three outdoor storm warning sirens. There are currently three designated public tornado shelters in Sunrise Beach, located at Hurricane Deck Elementary School, Kent Memorial Lutheran Church, and The Stables at Cannon Smoked Saloon.

The city does not allow development in designated flood plains. There are currently multiple at-risk buildings in the city flood zone. The city previously had only pursued mitigating measures for roadway drainage.

By approving participation in the plan, the city trustees recognize no community is immune from hazards, whether they be tornado, severe thunderstorms, flood, severe winter weather, drought, heat wave, earthquakes, dam failure or wildfire. The trustees further recognize the importance of enhanced ability to withstand natural hazards, as well as the importance of reducing human suffering, property damage, the interruption of public services and economic losses, caused by those hazards.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a hazard mitigation program that assists communities after a natural disaster. The program focuses not only on disaster relief, but also on recovery and reconstruction to help bring the community near pre-disaster conditions in an “accelerated, orderly, and preplanned manner.”
By participating in the Natural Hazard Mitigation Program, the city will also be eligible to apply for post-disaster mitigation funds.

The trustees also committed to working with government and community partners to maintain and contribute to the local Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. They agreed to implement pertinent precepts of the mitigation plan by incorporating other community plans and mechanisms where appropriate.
All aspects pertaining to the city in the Camden County Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan were approved by the trustees. They further agreed the city would evaluate and review the plan regularly, after a disaster, and participate in completing a mandated five-year update that will be submitted to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and FEMA.