State and local officials gathered in Boone County Tuesday to encourage local cities to create plans to ease the impact of Northern Kentucky power system threats.
“The completion of a hazard mitigation plan makes cities and counties eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency hazard mitigation assistance grants,” Kentucky Hazard Mitigation Planner Nick Grinstead said.
Gateway Community & Technical College’s campus served as the site of the session assembled by the Northern Kentucky Area Development District and the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy.
Natural, technological and human-caused threats should be considered when formulating a mitigation plan, officials said.
Attendees representing fields ranging from emergency management to fire service received insight regarding the importance of Northern Kentucky cities and counties developing hazard mitigation plans.
Presenters defined hazard mitigation as sustained action to reduce or eliminate the long-term risks to life and property from hazard events.
“I’m responsible for the energy security plan for the Commonwealth – when you think of energy, you’re thinking of electricity, propane, natural gas and petroleum,” Energy and Environment Cabinet Energy Assurance and Efficiency Coordinator Amanda LeMaster said.
LeMaster encouraged those in attendance to think about who is impacted and what their tie is to the power system when critical infrastructure is compromised. Other things to consider, she said, were assessing power threats and hazards impacting the region, and exploring methods to decrease the burden on utilities and communities when threats arise.
Critical infrastructure within Northern Kentucky includes 153 gas stations, 150 electricity substations, 75 fire and EMS stations, 53 police stations, nine hospitals and a crude oil pipeline operation, according to Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet data.