Fairfield RTM adopts Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
FAIRFIELD — The RTM voted Monday to adopt the 2019 multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, renewing the town’s eligibility for FEMA natural disaster grants.
The Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan is designed every five years by the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG), the regional planning agency responsible for the greater Bridgeport area of Fairfield, Bridgeport, Easton, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that each municipality’s legislature adopt the updated plan every five years in order to remain eligible for relevant federal grants offered by FEMA, such as the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program and Post-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
In approving the plan, the RTM extended Fairfield’s access to these services, gained from its approval of the 2014 plan.
The plan aims to “reduce the loss of life, personal injury and damage to property, infrastructure and natural, cultural and economic resources from a natural disaster,” according to MetroCOG.
While containing no binding measures of adoption, the plan proposes a set of mitigation options meant to address issues including coastal flooding, storm surges and early warning strategies for natural disasters.
These are issues of concern for many Fairfield residents, especially following the Sept. 25, 2018 storm that dropped 7 inches of rain and flooded homes on both sides of the Rooster River. The town has engaged the engineering firm Milone & MacBroom to develop a flood control system for the areas along Rooster River.
In its proposals for Fairfield, the plan suggests that the town train and equip neighborhood storm response teams, especially in neighborhoods that have historically been cut off from emergency services by hazardous conditions.
It also recommends providing and installing generators in housing for seniors and other vulnerable populations to allow them to take shelter in place.
Fairfield joined Easton, Monroe and Trumbull in approving the plan Monday night. Stratford and Bridgeport are set to vote on local adoption in October.