Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Dane County will convene listening sessions to give people an opportunity to discuss concerns about natural hazards and disasters. Dane County is in the process of updating its Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and is inviting public involvement and input. Local governments, businesses, and the public are encouraged to attend. On average, each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $6 in avoided future losses, in addition to saving lives and preventing injuries.

Most people who live or work in Dane County have been affected by natural hazards in one way or another. Dane County residents are vulnerable to a variety of hazards including extreme temperatures, severe winter weather, tornadoes, and floods. These extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, often with disastrous results. The inclusion of climate change factors in the hazard analysis will ensure Dane County identifies appropriate steps that can protect residents’ personal and economic safety through mitigation efforts.

“Extreme weather events can strike at a moment’s notice. The better we prepare for disasters before they occur, the more we can reduce potential damage and risk to our residents,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Long droughts, historic rains, and sweltering heat are becoming all too familiar occurrences that negatively affect Dane County residents’ economic well-being and personal safety. As our changing climate results in a growing number of extreme weather events, it’s important for us to assess our community’s vulnerabilities and adapt.”

Torrential rains and tornadoes cannot be prevented from occurring. Planning for natural hazards and implementing mitigation measures, however, can reduce the impact of such events when they do occur. Emergency response and recovery costs can be reduced. Property damage and monetary losses can be reduced. Personal injury and loss of life can be reduced. The economic and social impact on the community as a whole can be reduced.

The Dane County Department of Emergency Management will facilitate the public listening sessions to solicit the public’s input on draft mitigation strategies to update the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. “These listening sessions give residents the opportunity to provide their input directly to staff about Dane County’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. We encourage people to attend, ask questions, and express their concerns so we can work to develop more comprehensive countywide hazard mitigation strategies,” said Dane County Emergency Management Director Charles Tubbs.

The public listening sessions will be held:

The current version of Dane County’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan may be found online at The new draft mitigation strategies may be found at

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