Where there’s a will, there’s a way, even with the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the feeling of both Cobb County, Georgia, and Tennessee-based BOLDplanning as the two recently moved forward with their Hazard Mitigation Planning efforts. After gaining approval from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA), the two came together—virtually—on April 1, 2020, to hold its Hazard Mitigation Kick-off Meeting as previously scheduled.

Around 20 participants, including representatives from all participating Cobb County jurisdictions and the public, were in attendance. With all questions pertaining to local hazard mitigation addressed, the updating of the County’s current, FEMA-approved plan is now officially underway.

“A Hazard Mitigation Plan,” as published on Cobb County’s website, “forms the foundation for a community’s long-term strategy to address disaster losses by identifying actions and projects to reduce or eliminate the impacts that hazards have on a community.”

Further, “Since historic floods devastated Cobb County in 2009, the City of Austell, the City of Powder Springs, and Cobb County government have placed a great deal of emphasis on removing residences out of floodplain areas through the receipt of Federal Hazard Mitigation Grant funding. Without the Hazard Mitigation Plan in place, receipt of these funds would not have been possible.”

By updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan, the County, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, will remain eligible to receive certain types of hazard mitigation disaster assistance, emergency, and non-emergency. And, that’s a very good thing. The County is home to more than 760,000 people, making it the third-largest county in the State of Georgia.

Special thanks to GEMA for allowing Cobb County (and BOLDplanning) to move forward with its Hazard Mitigation Planning efforts virtually during these unprecedented times. The plan update will be completed over the next few months.