ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County is asking its residents to get involved in planning for future disasters and ways to minimize their impact.  The county is updating its All-Hazard Mitigation Plan and is holding five public meetings to gather the necessary feedback to make improvements.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies a community's disaster vulnerabilities and finds ways to correct them. It helps identify and prioritize projects, but also garner federal funding. Some examples may be building tornado shelters for mobile home parks, planting shrubs to act as snow fences or burying powerlines underground.

The meetings are Monday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at the Paynesville City Council Chambers, Tuesday from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Melrose City Hall, Wednesday at the Stearns County Service Center from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and again from 6:00-9:00 p.m. and Thursday, March 1st at Cold Spring's Municipal Meeting Room from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

You can also fill out an online survey by March 1st. Just log on to the Stearns County website and look for the questionnaire.