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Why is the LMS Update Important?

Hazard mitigation reduces the impacts of a disaster and can result in substantial savings in life and property following an event.  The goal of the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) is to prepare residents and businesses for the potential impacts of various types of hazards and provide opportunities for receiving federal grant funding in the event of a declared disaster.  In addition, the LMS plays an important role in the County’s Community Rating System (CRS).  The CRS is a voluntary program administered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Participating local governments receive a CRS score based on their flood prevention/mitigation programs.  The score directly correlates to the percentage of premium decrease applied to every flood insurance policy held by property owners within that local government.  The following jurisdictions are participants in the CRS system:

  • City of Lakeland
  • Polk County

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires each local jurisdiction and the School Board to have either its own local mitigation plan or actively participate in the development and maintenance of multi-jurisdictional plans.  The Polk County LMS is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved plan that is compliant with federal regulations.  The adoption of a FEMA approved hazard mitigation plan allows all participating jurisdictions to be eligible to apply for hazard mitigation project grants.  To remain compliant with federal regulations, a review and update to the LMS must occur every five years.  The update ensures that the plan remains current in its discussion of local risks and risk reduction strategies.

Flooding in Winter Haven after Tropical Storm Debbie; Photo Credit: Bay News Nine

Flooding in Winter Haven after Tropical Storm Debbie; Photo Credit: Bay News Nine