By D. Powers
The City Council adopted an update to the city's Hazardous Mitigation Plan, a necessary step in securing federal emergency funding related to any potential natural or man-made disasters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimburses a municipality 75 percent of any clean up or mitigation costs associated with a federally declared disaster.
Communities in Western Massachusetts, for example, where reimbursed 75 percent of all costs by FEMA for the late-October 2011 snowstorm that felled trees and power lines and broke plowing and sanding budgets.
After the June 1, 2011 tornado that tore through West Springfield and Springfield, Gov. Deval Patrick asked for a federal disaster declaration to secure millions in aid.
Jim Wiggs, the city’s Emergency Management director, said the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPA) offered financial and technical assistance in updating the plan, a requirement every five years. The city of Westfield slightly exceeded the plan’s expiration date. “It’s important we get this in place,” he said.