Public Safety Director Murphy presents Hazard Mitigation Plan


EMA Director David Murphy

WHITE COUNTY, Ga. – Public Safety Director David Murphy presented the 2021 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update developed by  Emergency Management Tuesday in the Board of Commission Chambers at the County Administration Building.

The plan establishes a vision and guiding principles for reducing hazard risk, and proposes specific mitigation actions to eliminate or reduce identified vulnerabilities. Without the plan, the cities and counties are not eligible for pre- and post-disaster funding from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

“This is a process we go through every five years,” Murphy said. “We’re required by FEMA to have a hazard mitigation plan in place for the community.” The community includes the White County, unincorporated areas, Sautee Nacoochee, the City of Helen and the City of Cleveland. All communities are represented on the planning committee

Murphy provided a Hazard Risk Analyses Supplement to the plan that was prepared by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia that is available on the county website at

“We always look at protecting life and property in everything we do, and in every plan we write for our communities.” he said. “That’s our No. 1 goal.” The plan attempts to reduce the long-term risk of damage to the quality of life, environment and economy through implementation of effective risk- reduction measures.

Once the plan is finalized, it goes to FEMA for approval and then must be approved by the City of Helen, City of Cleveland and White County. That approval process makes them eligible to receive pre-disaster grants to purchase things like outdoor warning sirens, emergency notification systems, safe shelters, flood mitigation and property. “It also puts us in a position where we can receive post-disaster funding,” Murphy said.

White County is currenty working on two disaster declarations. Hurricane Zeta cost the county about $160,000 in response and the thunderstorms that blew through at the end of March cost about $130,000.Without an approved plan in place, the County would not be eligible to receive federal funding for those events.



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