Projects to prevent injuries and fatalities while maintaining vital services for Carroll County residents during severe storms will be the main topic of discussion at a Carroll County Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning Committee meeting.

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Carroll County Farm Bureau Building, 811 S. Clay St., Mount Carroll. It is open to the public.

Committee members began work in March to update the county plan which will identify projects and activities to protect Carroll County residents and property from storms and other natural disasters.

“Unlike all other emergency plans, this plan is aimed at identifying projects and activities that can be taken before these disasters occur,” said Greg Miller, Carroll County Emergency Agency coordinator.

Added Miller, "Other emergency plans are directed at responding after a storm or natural disaster hits. While updating this plan, we will identify new actions that can reduce or eliminate damages caused by specific types of storms and other natural disasters for each participating municipality and unincorporated areas of the county before they occur."

Mount Carroll, Savanna, Chadwick, Lanark, Milledgeville, Shannon, Thomson and Carroll County have been participating in the planning process.

Miller said building storm shelters, resolving drainage problems, providing back-up power supplies, retrofitting water supplies and other critical facilities to better withstand natural disasters are a few of the more frequently encountered mitigation projects in Illinois.

Developing public information materials and conducting drainage studies are examples of other activities that might also be included in the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.

"Updating this plan will help assure each participating municipality receives all of the money for which they are due when a catastrophic storm-such as a tornado or flood occurs,” said Miller. “In addition, obtaining FEMA's approval of our updated plan will make all of the participants eligible to receive federal grant money for mitigation projects.”