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Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan - Pee Dee Lumber Region

Natural hazards, such as hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes, are a part of the world around us.  Their occurrence is natural and inevitable, and there is little we can do to control their force and intensity.  We must consider these hazards to be legitimate and significant threats to human life, safety, and property.

The Pee Dee Lumber Region is located in the south-central part of North Carolina and includes the counties of Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, and Scotland.  This area is vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards such as severe thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, winter storms, and wildfires.  It is also vulnerable to human-caused hazards, including chemical releases and hazardous material spills.  These hazards threaten the life and safety of residents in the Pee Dee Lumber Region and have the potential to damage or destroy both public and private property, disrupt the local economy, and impact the overall quality of life of individuals who live, work, and vacation in the Pee Dee Lumber Region.

While the threat from hazardous events may never be fully eliminated, there is much we can do to lessen their potential impact upon our community and our citizens.  By minimizing the impact of hazards upon our built environment, we can prevent such events from resulting in disasters.  The concept and practice of reducing risks to people and property from known hazards is generally referred to as hazard mitigation. 

Hazard mitigation techniques include both structural measures (such as strengthening or protecting buildings and infrastructure from the destructive forces of potential hazards) and non-structural measures (such as the adoption of sound land use policies and the creation of public awareness programs).  It is widely accepted that the most effective mitigation measures are implemented at the local government level, where decisions on the regulation and control of development are ultimately made.  A comprehensive mitigation approach addresses hazard vulnerabilities that exist today and in the foreseeable future.  Therefore, it is essential that projected patterns of future development are evaluated and considered in terms of how that growth will increase or decrease a community’s overall hazard vulnerability.

A key component in the formulation of a comprehensive approach to hazard mitigation is to develop, adopt, and update a local hazard mitigation plan as needed.  A hazard mitigation plan establishes the broad community vision and guiding principles for reducing hazard risk, and further proposes specific mitigation actions to eliminate or reduce identified vulnerabilities.

The four counties participating in the 2017 update of the Pee Dee Lumber Hazard Mitigation Plan have had county level or regional hazard mitigation planning that has evolved over the years, since the inception of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, as described in Section 2: Planning Process.  This regional plan draws from each of the county plans and documents the region’s sustained efforts to incorporate hazard mitigation principles and practices into routine government activities and functions.  At its core, the Plan recommends specific actions to minimize hazard vulnerability and protect residents from losses to those hazards that pose the greatest risk.  These mitigation actions go beyond simply recommending structural solutions to reduce existing vulnerability, such as elevation, retrofitting, and acquisition projects.  Local policies on community growth and development, incentives for natural resource protection, and public awareness and outreach activities are examples of other actions considered to reduce the Pee Dee Lumber Region’s vulnerability to identified hazards.  The Plan remains a living document, with implementation and evaluation procedures established to help achieve meaningful objectives and successful outcomes over time.

The entire plan can be viewed using the link below:

Pee Dee Lumber Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan - February 2018