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SD seeks public comment on hazard mitigation plan

PIERRE (AP) — The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management is seeking public comments on its updated hazard mitigation plan, a document that identifies strategies to reduce or eliminate the risk of damage from natural disasters.

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States must have hazard mitigation plans in place to qualify for presidential disaster declarations.

Jason Bauder of the Office of Emergency Management says the state's plan has enabled South Dakota to get 13 presidential disaster declarations in the past five years. He says that has led to funding for risk-reduction projects that include storm shelters, drainage improvements and flood control measures.

Officials assess risks from agricultural pests and diseases, floods, winter storms, wildfire, drought, tornadoes and hazardous material spills.

Public comments on the draft plan can be made until Oct. 18. It is available online at