Tioga County, New York

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Wednesday - Sep 02, 2015

Tioga County Multi Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Through partnerships and careful planning, identify and reduce the vulnerability to natural hazards in order to protect the general health, safety, welfare, quality of life, environment, and economy of the residents and communities within Tioga County.

Tioga County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan is now FINAL and officially adopted by FEMA and all Tioga County’s 15 municipalities. Below are links to ALL sections.  If you have any questions or comments please contact Wendy Walsh, CPESC, CCA by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or Elaine Jardine, County Planning Director by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated 06.24.13


Tioga County residents are well aware of their vulnerability to natural hazards such as flooding, severe storms, and severe winter storms. Hazard mitigation planning is a step toward addressing these hazards and the effects on County businesses and population and reducing future damages due to hazard events. Residents and businesses benefit from comprehensive hazard mitigation planning by using a sustained pro-active approach to reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from hazards. By utilizing mitigation planning, communities assess risks and identify actions to reduce their vulnerability and increase sustainability.

A Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) is a living document that communities use to reduce their vulnerability to hazards. HMPs form the foundation for a community's long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. They create a framework for risk-based decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.

Further, communities must have an approved HMP to apply for or receive pre-disaster mitigation grant funding. Grant funding is available for projects to mitigate risk to both public and private property. For example projects such as home elevations and local flood mitigation projects are eligible for funding. Ultimately, these actions reduce vulnerability, and communities are able to recover more quickly from disasters.

Tioga County’s original HMP was approved by FEMA in June 2006, and may be seen at the 2006 Plan link. By regulation, local HMPs must be formally updated every five years. The update process is an opportunity for Tioga County and its municipalities to re-examine its vulnerability to natural hazards, evaluate progress on the mitigation strategies identified in the original plan, and add new mitigation actions/projects/initiatives so that the County can continue to lower its overall natural hazard risk.

Tioga County’s Soil and Water District is managing this plan update effort, supported by the Tioga County HMP Steering Committee and Tetra Tech, Inc. (Morris Plains, NJ). This plan update effort is expected to continue through Spring 2012. The County and all municipalities (the "Planning Partnership") have committed to participating in this update process, and so continue to be eligible for pre-disaster mitigation grant funding for eligible projects.

Hazard Mitigation is any action taken to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters (natural, technological and man-made) (www.fema.gov). It is often considered the first of the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Mitigation measures fall into the following six general categories, and address both public and private property:

  • Prevention: Measures such as planning and zoning, open space preservation, and development regulations, building codes, storm water management, fire fuelreduction, soil erosion, and sediment control.
  • Property Protection: Measures such as acquisition, relocation, storm shutters, rebuilding, barriers, flood-proofing, insurance, and structural retrofits for high winds and earthquake hazards.
  • Public Education and Awareness: Measures such as outreach projects, real estate disclosure, hazard information centers, technical assistance, and school age and adult education programs.
  • Natural Resource Protection: Measures such as erosion and sediment control, stream corridor protection, vegetative management, and wetlands preservation.
  • Emergency Services: Measures such as hazard threat recognition, hazard warning systems, emergency response, protection of critical facilities, and health and safety maintenance.
  • Structural Projects: Measures such as dams, levees, seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, high flow diversions, spillways, buttresses, debris basins, retaining walls, channel modifications, storm sewers, and retrofitted buildings and elevated roadways (seismic protection).

The hazard mitigation plan assists Tioga County with the following: 

  • An increased understanding of natural hazards the County faces.
  • Reduced long-term impacts and damages to human health and structures and reduced repair costs.
  • Development of more sustainable and disaster-resistant communities.
  • Access to federal mitigation grant funding for eligible projects.

Proactive mitigation leads to sustainable, more cost-effective projects. By contrast, reactive mitigation tends to lead to the "quick-fix" alternatives; it simply costs too much to address the effects of disasters only after they happen. A surprising amount of damage can be prevented if the County anticipates where and how disasters will occur, and take steps to mitigate those damages.

  • Take the Citizens Hazard Preparedness Survey.
  • Review the 2006 Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide input.
  • Review the 2012 Plan Update Draft and provide input.
  • Attend public outreach activities held during the Plan Update process.
  • Contact the County Contacts or Municipal Contacts if you are interested in mitigating your residential or commercial property.

Announcements for public outreach activities held during the plan update process shall be made here once they are scheduled.

Name Agency Telephone eMail

As the title suggests, the role of the Steering Committee is to provide guidance and direction to the planning effort to ensure the resulting document will be embraced both politically and by the constituency within the planning area. The Steering Committee will provide guidance and leadership, oversee the planning process, and act as the point of contact for all participating communities and the various interest groups in the planning area. The makeup of this committee was selected to provide a cross section of views to enhance the planning effort and to help build support for hazard mitigation.

The Steering Committee that has been selected for this process is as follows:

Name Affiliation
Barb Crannell Town of Nichols
Gary Hammond Tioga County Department of Public Works
Elaine Jardine Tioga County Planning
Dick Lacount Tioga County Emergency Management
Kevin Millar Village of Owego
Bill Ostrander Tioga County Geographical Information Systems
Judy Quigley Tioga County Attorney
Martha Sauerbrey Tioga County Legislator & Chamber of Commerce
Chet Spencer Town of Nichols (alternate)
Debbie Standinger Town of Owego Planning & Zoning
Wendy Walsh Tioga County Soil & Water Conservation District

 Agendas and Minutes for Steering Committee meetings may be reviewed here:

Meeting Date Agenda or Minutes
11/11/12 Minutes
12/12/12 Agenda

Agencies / Organizations

Mitigation Planning

Flood Insurance and Grant Programs


Hazard Information

  • Letter of Intent to Participate -
word_logo pdf_logo
  • Capability Assessment Survey -


  • Hazards of Concern Worksheet -