GMB, in conjunction with Vision Planning and Consulting, LLC and the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC), prepared a Hazard Mitigation Plan for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). The purpose of the Plan is to provide a mechanism for the University through which, the likelihood of threat to the land, structures, and constituents from natural and technological hazards can be assessed and to devise an action plan to reduce the impact of those threats and to develop a road map for future efforts. The Plan requirements are based on the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000); and Building a Disaster-Resistant University (FEMA 443).
The study and plan were developed by the consulting team through six meetings with the Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee, which consisted of University, Town, and County officials. Two public meetings were also conducted to gain public input.
A significant portion of the consulting effort was a HEC-RAS analysis to evaluate the limits of flooding during severe rainfall events. Various tidal conditions were used as downstream boundary conditions to evaluate the tidal impact on the water surface elevation. The 100 year results were compared with existing FIRM maps, and proposed revisions to the BFE and FIRM maps were presented, in coordination with Somerset County and the Town of Princess Anne.
The plan received outstanding praise from FEMA, who requested permission to distribute the plan as an example of a “best practice” planning document for others to model from. Our contact with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Carver Struve, CFM, said, “In all my years of doing this, I have never received such a glowing review of a planning document from FEMA.”