Hillsborough planners survey residents on county’s vulnerability, resilience to find storm solutions

Hillsborough County officials want to make sure they know where the problem spots are in your neighborhoods through an online vulnerability and resilience survey, so planners can find solutions when storms happen.

Florida’s coastline makes our shores more at risk for erosion, flooding and damage. Hillsborough County emergency management leaders said they use tools to figure out where the biggest impacts are when storms hit, but they can’t fix problems they aren’t aware of, so they want the people who live or work in the county to fill out its Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation Plan, and Local Mitigation Strategy survey.  

"We're essentially the conductors when it comes to some of our mitigation projects," said Troy Salisbury, a hazard mitigation manager with County. "So, we work with those departments and the divisions within the county in order to identify those projects that have a positive impact on people's lives when it comes to, storm events or any type of impactful event."

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Planners and emergency leaders want to know where the gaps are in your community, so they can work toward building a solution to fix them.

"When you identify such a large gap within your community, a lot of times this has to do with, you know, how things were built, what your infrastructure is looking like. You know, how is your drainage system in the community?" said Katja Miller, the operations section chief at Hillsborough County Emergency Management.

County officials said the survey is helpful since the locations where storms impact a community can change with all the growth in our area. 

"Our rain showers are getting stronger. Our hurricanes are getting stronger and more numerous," said Salisbury. "And so, we don't like to be behind the eight-ball. We want to be able to create these projects that really have, you know, really solve problems for people when we do get hit."

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Emergency management said the survey helps them see where vulnerabilities are, which can help make the aftermath of a storm hit a bit less. 

"It's making the community more resilient, and it is helping us recover and build back and bounce back better. That's ultimately the goal here with this," said Miller.

Hillsborough County said the survey will be open for feedback through the end of August. You can find the survey at www.hcfl.gov/hcengage. The county plans to keep working on the assessment through the end of the year before sending it to the state.


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