How to help Rowan plan for disasters

Tornados. Ice storms. Drought. Chemical spills.

How concerned are you about the possibility of our community being impacted by a disaster?

Do you know what office to contact about reducing your risks to hazards in your area?

These questions and more are on a survey emergency services officials are asking residents of Rowan and Iredell counties to take as they update the counties’ hazard mitigation plan.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration and the state require communities to update their plans every five years. Rowan’s current plan expires in 2015.

The two counties and their municipalities will be working together to develop a plan that will serve as the blueprint for making the region more resistant to disasters.

Cabarrus, Stanly and Union counties have teamed together for a similar effort.

Responses to the survey will help the planning team understand the region’s concerns and figure out ways to lessen the impact of future hazards and disasters.

Frank Thomason, chief of Rowan County Emergency Services, is encouraging residents to participate in the process. They can help the county become less vulnerable to natural disasters by completing the short online questionnaire, Thomason says.

To complete the Rowan and Iredell survey, go to and click on the “2015 Update of the Hazard Mitigation Plan.”

The survey for Cabarrus residents, including all of Kannapolis, can be found online at

The purpose of a hazard mitigation plan is to:

• Protect life and property by reducing the potential for damages and economic losses from natural hazards,

• Allow communities to qualify for pre- and post-disaster grant funding,

• Speed recovery and redevelopment following disaster events

• Demonstrate a firm local commitment to hazard mitigation principles.

• Comply with state and federal legislative requirements.

The counties have contracted a firm, Atkins, to help with the planning process and write the plan. For more information about the survey or the Iredell Rowan Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, contact Nathan Slaughter at 919-431-5251 or

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