Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Available for Public Comment

Roanoke, VA – The draft Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Hazard Mitigation Plan is available for public comment. The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission will hold public meetings where information about the region’s natural hazards, including mapping and plan drafts, will be on display. Citizens are encouraged to review them, ask questions and add their comments to the review process. A short overview presentation will be made at the start of the meeting.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires that local governments, as a condition of receiving federal disaster mitigation funds, have a mitigation plan that; describes the process for identifying hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities, identifies and prioritizes mitigation actions, encourages the development of local mitigation, and provides technical support for those efforts. While the plan does not establish any legal requirements for the localities, it does provide a framework for natural hazard mitigation planning. The plan identifies hazards, establishes community goals/objectives, mitigation activities that are appropriate for the region, and addresses multiple hazards including flooding, severe weather, geologic hazards, and wildfires.

The planning area for the Hazard Mitigation Plan includes the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; the cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem; and the towns of Buchanan, Clifton Forge, Fincastle, Iron Gate, New Castle, Troutville, and Vinton. These are the same localities that participated in the 2006 and 2013 plans.

The meetings will be held on the following dates and locations. A short overview presentation will be made at the start of the open house and an hour later.

April 22, 5:00 to 7:00 pm, McCarthy Hall Room 509, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, 1000 Dabney Dr, Clifton Forge, VA 24422

April 24, 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Roanoke Higher Education Center, Room 410, 108 North Jefferson St, Roanoke, VA 24016

More information about the plan is available at http://rvarc.org/community/hazard-mitigation/ .

 

Public Right-of-Way Accessibility

People with certificates

Left to right: Tiffany, Dr. Eck, Rachel, and Garrett

RVARC staff and volunteers learned about the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) during a workshop from the University of Virginia Transportation Technical Academy. PROWAG ensure that all people can navigate safely on foot in the public right-of-way.

Rachel Ruhlen felt the training would enhance the bike/walk/disability audits that the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee has been doing with locality staff. During these audits, locality staff are always impressed watching Garrett Brumfield, a committee member, or Tiffany Lee, a volunteer, navigate the sidewalk and streets in their wheelchairs, or blind volunteers find their way around using sound and touch. The audits often turn up simple repairs that can make a big difference to a person with vision or mobility impairment.

RVARC sent Rachel, Garrett, and Tiffany to the workshop to learn PROWAG, the best practices for accessibility, developed by the US Department of Justice Access Board.