Papio-Missouri NRD Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (NRD), covering Burt, Dakota, Douglas, Sarpy, Thurston, and
Washington Counties, is currently updating their
Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) for 2021. This plan is required to be updated and approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) every five years, with the last version approved in 2016. All communities are eligible and encouraged to participate in the planning process.

What is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?

An HMP is a community-guided document that assesses vulnerability to natural and
human-caused hazards and identifies mitigation projects to reduce or eliminate such risks. An approved HMP is a FEMA requirement for jurisdictions to become eligible for several grant funding options. This approval enables your community to be stronger and more resilient by reducing your community’s risk and impacts from disasters, as well as building partnerships and relationships with stakeholders within your community and region.

This HMP update is funded by a FEMA planning grant that includes 75% federal funding and 25% local match. The Papio-Missouri River NRD is providing the 25% local match.

Why You Should Get Involved

In order to be successful, we need your participation and input on this community-driven HMP. Here are just a few of the reasons why public participation is important during the HMP planning process:

Advance Planning Saves Lives.

According to a 2017 report by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), implementing hazard mitigation tactics and exceeding building codes together would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million nonfatal injuries, and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder in the long term. Community-driven HMPs are proven in saving lives during disasters, which is why it’s imperative communities are involved in the planning process.

Advance Planning Saves Money.

Based on the same 2017 NIBS report, every $1 spent on hazard mitigation saves $6 on future disaster costs nationally. And as previously mentioned, FEMA-approved HMPs are needed to gain eligibility for federal mitigation grant programs. By planning and preparing for hazards in advance, communities can help increase recovery speed while also decreasing recovery costs.

Advance Planning Brings Communities Together.

Public participation during the HMP process helps determine, evaluate and prioritize local community hazards and vulnerabilities. Through the planning process, local entities can build partnerships to address these risks, create risk reduction tactics, and align these strategies with other community objectives. Knowledge is power – and the more a community knows together, the more prepared and resilient they can be before, during, and after a disaster.

The Planning Process

The Papio-Missouri River NRD planning process will include public meetings to allow interested stakeholders and community members to learn more about the plan and provide input on community vulnerabilities and actions to address such concerns.

Meeting Updates and Information

Social Media Campaign
Due to current concerns and directed health measures in place for COVID-19, the 2021 Papio-Missouri River NRD Hazard Mitigation Plan Open House has been cancelled. In order to continue public engagement regarding the Hazard Mitigation Plan and updates, the Papio NRD and JEO Consulting Group have teamed together for a social media campaign. This campaign will educate the public on the different types of hazards, how the planning process works, and what can be done to mitigate hazards in the future.

To participate in the social media campaign, follow the Papio NRD’s Facebook page here. More information will be added to the website when the campaign launches. 

Round 2 Meetings
The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (NRD) is leading the process of updating the 2016 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) with the assistance of JEO Consulting Group. A HMP is a community-guided document that identifies vulnerability to natural and man-made hazards, and mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate this vulnerability. Having an approved and updated HMP in place is a requirement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for communities, counties, school districts and other groups to be eligible for pre- and post-disaster mitigation grants, which are available on an annual basis as appropriated by congress. These federal grants allow for up to a 75% cost share for a wide variety of projects listed in the plan. The Papio-Missouri River NRD’s existing HMP was approved by FEMA in 2016, and FEMA requires that the HMP must be updated and approved within a five year period. 

Hazard mitigation planning provides participating entities an opportunity to evaluate risk to natural and man-made hazards and identify ways to reduce that risk. An effective HMP helps participants to prioritize and complete projects designed to make communities safer and ease potential damage from disasters. 

Residents, communities, counties, schools, fire departments, hospitals and more from throughout the Papio-Missouri River NRD are invited and encouraged to participate in this process by attending meetings and providing information for the plan.

Meeting Dates and Times

  • Burt County: Monday, October 5 at 2:00PM
  • Washington County: Tuesday, October 13 at 10:00AM
  • Dakota County: Monday, October 19 at 2:00PM
  • Douglas County: Thursday, October 22 at 2:00PM
  • Thurston County: Tuesday, October 27 at 2:00PM
  • Sarpy County: Wednesday, October 28 at 1:00PM

If possible, it is recommended to join the meeting via computer or smartphone. A demonstration of required materials will be presented during this meeting. You can access and download your jurisdiction’s meeting worksheets by visiting this Google Drive link: beginning September 18th.

To RSVP for the meeting or for more information, please contact Becky Appleford, JEO Project Manager, at (402)392-9915 or by email at Lori Ann Laster can also be reached at (402)315-1773 or by email at


    2016 Hazard Mitigation Plan

    The current Papio-Missouri River NRD Hazard Mitigation Plan is available for review and download below.

    Resolution for Participation

    For all jurisdictions participating in the 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, local boards or councils are required to adopt, sign, and provide a Resolution for Participation to demonstrate their commitment to this process. A draft copy of the resolution is available here. Once completed, please provide a copy to Brooke Seachord, JEO Lead Planner at or mail to 2700 Fletcher Ave, Lincoln NE 68504.

    Resolution for Participation Doc

    Would You Rather?

    Thank you for playing “Would You Rather?” with a local twist!

    Our final question is…Would you Rather? Be entered to win a $50 gift card…or not? Easy choice.

    All you have to do is complete this short survey. The survey provides valuable community input to help identify hazards in our neighborhoods so that the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, JEO, and other partners can work to reduce the impact of them. Yes, there is a full-fledged plan dedicated to this.

    While asking Would You Rather? Have a tree fall on your house and lose power during a thunderstorm or be barricaded in your house in three feet of snow in the format of a popular conversation-starting game is fun, your responses to this campaign and input on numerous other community hazards is hugely beneficial to us in our planning. You can learn more about past major events and mitigation projects for your county below.

    Thank you for helping us start the conversation about the importance of identifying community hazards that concern you most. With your feedback, it’s game on for us!

    Burt County

    Past Major Event: Severe Winter Storms and Snowstorms, February 2010
    Gov. Dave Heineman requested snow removal assistance for 15 counties, public assistance for 48 counties and hazard mitigation statewide after severe winter and snowstorms impacted Nebraska from Dec. 22, 2009 to Jan. 8, 2010. Then-President Obama declared a major disaster on Feb. 25, 2010, allowing counties like Burt to receive public assistance funds to address impacts from the disaster.

    • Total public assistance dollars: $6,010,888
    • Burt County countywide per capita: $20.67

    FEMA-Funded Mitigation Project: Utility Protective Measures
    Dead-end structures help stop any cascading effects when a power or transmission line is damaged. These dead-end structures have guy wires that help the power structure from bending and causing other structures to break in other directions. These dead-end structures were added as part of the severe winter storms that came through Burt County from December 2006 to January 2007 under the major disaster declaration signed by then-President Bush.

    • 75% cost share provided
    • Project amount $323,244; federal share $242,433

    Dakota County

    Past Major Event: Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds, Flooding, Summer 2014
    Severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding affected 12 Nebraska counties during the summer of 2014. Then-President Obama declared a major disaster over these counties, including Dakota, in order to provide federal disaster assistance.

    FEMA-Funded Mitigation Project: Warning Systems – Dakota County Siren Project
    Dakota county was one of 13 counties impacted by flooding from May to August 2011, including many within the Papio-Missiouri River NRD region. Due to the major disaster declaration signed in August 2011, Dakota County received funding to perform and evaluate existing alert sirens to help determine which ones should be replaced or upgraded. This mitigation tactic helps to improve safety of all Dakota County residents by preparing them in advance of incoming storms.

    • 75% cost share provided
    • Project amount $19,533; federal share $14,650

    Douglas County

    Past Major Event: Severe Snowstorms, October 1997
    Severe snowstorms in October 1997 caused then-President Clinton to declare 39 counties, including Douglas, a major disaster and led to federal public assistance dollars to help support rebuilding and mitigation efforts. Omaha, for example, recorded 9.2-inches of snowfall, which doubled the previous record for an October snowstorm from 1898.

    FEMA-Funded Mitigation Project: Generators – Valley City Hall Generator Project
    The City of Valley was part of many jurisdictions impacted by the February 2010 severe winter and snowstorms. A major disaster declaration was signed, allowing federal public assistance to be provided to 57 counties, including Douglas. This funding allowed Valley City Hall to secure a back-up generator in 2012 with HMGP and city funds; a portable generator is available for lift stations, and the city continues to apply for funds for additional generators.

    • 70% cost share
    • Project amount $55,845; federal share $39,098

    Sarpy County

    Past Major Event: Flooding, Summer 2011
    Thirteen counties, including Sarpy, were impacted by flood waters from May to August 2011. A federal major disaster declaration was made that August by then-President Obama. Due to the extent of the flooding in Sarpy County, residents were able to apply for individual assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in addition to the county receiving public assistance funds as part of the disaster declaration.

    • Individual assistance applications approved: 470
    • Total individual & household program dollars: $4,311,497.50
    • Total housing assistance dollars: $4,180,886.62
    • Total other needs assistance dollars: $130,610.88

    FEMA-Funded Mitigation Project: Land Acquisition – Iske Park/Elbow Bend
    Approximately 30 houses within Iske Park community along the Missouri River were damaged beyond repair during the 2011 floods, barring the owners from rebuilding along the floodplain. By buying out these properties, the Papio-Missouri River NRD can prevent future property damage and possibly save lives in future major flooding events along the river.

    • 75% cost share provided
    • Project amount $2,437,508; federal share $1,828,131

    Thurston County

    Past Major Event: Severe Storms, Winter Storms, Tornadoes, Flooding, October 2013
    Over four days in October 2013, 10 Nebraska counties, including Thurston, were impacted by severe storms, winter storms, tornados and flooding. Then-President Obama declared major disaster on Nov. 26, 2013, which allowed Thurston and other impacted counties to receive federal public assistance funds.

    FEMA-Funded Mitigation Project: Warning Systems – Village of Pender Siren Project
    As part of the 2011 flooding major disaster funding, the Village of Pender was able to add a new weather warning siren within city limits. This mitigation project will help to improve the safety of its citizens during future events.

    • 75% cost share provided
    • Project amount $18,993; federal share $14,245

    Washington County

    Past Major Event: Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Flooding, May 2005
    The southeastern portion of Nebraska was ravaged by severe storms, tornados and flooding in May 2005, with 27 counties included in the major disaster declaration signed by then-President Bush. Not only were impacted counties, like Washington, provided federal assistance, but also individuals and householders whose properties were significantly damaged during these events.

    • Individual assistance applications approved: 392
    • Total individual & household program dollars: $829,908.94
    • Total housing assistance dollars: $485,999.91
    • Total other needs assistance dollars: $343,909.03

    FEMA-Funded Mitigation Project: Dry Floodproofing – Blair Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants
    In May 2011, the US Army Corp of Engineers warned those along the Missouri River south of Gavins Point Dam of flooding due to higher than usual dam release – 160,000 cubic feet of water per second versus the typical 16,000-19,000 cubic feet of water per second. This release, caused by the excessive snow pack and extreme rain fall, led the City of Blair to instal temporary flood control berms to protect the local water and wastewater treatment plant. Permanent flood control measures were construction from 2014 to 2016 included installing flood control berms, utility relocation, a new pump station and flood gate, and purchasing backup generators. Fairview Drive – the city’s only access to the plants – also had to be reconstructed with 1/3 of the roadway elevated above the 500-year high river elevation, ensuring access to the plants during any future flooding events.

    • 75% cost share provided
    • Project amount $7,413,942; federal share $ 5,560,455

    Give Feedback

    Not able to make it to a public meeting? No worries! Provide feedback to the planning team by submitting your comments below.

    Rebecca Appleford, CFM
    JEO Consulting Group
    (402) 392-9915

    Lori Laster, CFM
    Papio-Missouri NRD
    (402) 315-1773

    Public Input Form

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Planning Partners

    8901 S 154th St, Omaha, NE 68138
    (402) 444-6222