Aitkin County seeks public input on mitigation plan

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Aitkin County is taking steps to minimize the damage from natural disasters and is seeking the public’s input in updating its Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The Aitkin County Office of Emergency Management is currently working with U-Spatial at the University of Minnesota Duluth to update the county’s plan. Also working on the update is a planning team of representatives from county departments, local municipalities, school districts and other key stakeholders, such as utility providers.

The Aitkin County plan is a multi-jurisdictional plan that covers Aitkin County, including the cities of Aitkin, Hill City, McGrath, McGregor, Palisade and Tamarack. The plan also incorporates the concerns and needs of townships, school districts and other stakeholders participating in the plan.

“Hazard mitigation planning is a central part of our emergency management program,” said Aitkin County Sheriff and Emergency Management Director Dan Guida in a news release. “Understanding the natural hazards that can cause serious impact to our communities and taking action to reduce or eliminate the impact of future disasters makes us more resilient. Hazard mitigation helps us to break the cycle of damage and repair caused by things like flooding, ice storms, and severe wind events that can damage property, stress economies, and threaten life safety in our county.”

Examples of hazard mitigation 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 power lines 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. Some mitigation activities may be eligible for future FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant funding.


As part of the planning process, Aitkin County is seeking feedback from residents and businesses from across the county to incorporate into the plan on the following questions:

  • What are the natural hazards posing the greatest risk to the community?

  • What experiences can be shared from previous disaster events?

  • What concerns exist, and what sorts of mitigation actions or projects would help to reduce the damages of potential future events for personal property, the community and/or the county as a whole?

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires counties to update their plan every five years to maintain eligibility for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.
For more information contact the sheriff by calling 218-927-7417 or emailing him at

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