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 the Carroll County Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning Committee meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Carroll County Farm Bureau Building, 811 S. Clay St., Mount Carroll. The meeting is open to the public.

"Severe storms frequently damage buildings, crops, roads and other critical infrastructure in this area,” said Greg Miller, Carroll County Emergency Management Agency coordinator. “At least $37.2 million in verified damages were caused by 101 severe weather and natural hazard events.”

Added Miller, “It's highly likely that there were additional damages that weren't documented. Consequently, we are seeking to identify preventative steps that can reduce the dollar damages as well as protecting public health before severe weather strikes."

Projects identified by municipal representatives at the meeting will become part of the Carroll County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan update.

While the public has provided input on portions of the plan, the entire plan will be presented for public review and comment before it is submitted to the state and federal government for approval.

"A public forum will be conducted later this spring for interested persons to review the plan update and ask questions of committee members,” said Miller.

A two-week public comment period will be established to accommodate interested persons who are unable to attend the forum.

“We want to make sure that anybody who is interested has an opportunity to review and comment on the draft plan update," said Miller.

Interested persons can submit questions and comments to the committee members or directly to the Carroll County Emergency Management Agency.