A ‘Hazard Mitigation Plan’ will ensure that measures to reduce the present and future vulnerability of a community are thoroughly considered before, during and after the next disaster strikes. Local Hazard Mitigation planning offers the following benefits: saving lives and property, saving money, speeding recovery following disasters, improving community health and safety and expediting pre and post-disaster grant funding.
Don Florence, Emergency Planner with the Office of Emergency Services has begun meeting with organizations to discuss the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) purpose, the process which includes hazard identification and analysis, community vulnerability assessment, mitigation capabilities assessment, mitigation strategy, mitigation action plan and implementation program, authority and techniques for implementation such as prevention, property protection, natural resource protection and structural projects. Discussion of historical events, or past disasters in your area, goals and objective for content in the LHMP are also on the agenda.
Recently, both the State of California and the U.S. Congress made the development of a Hazard Mitigation Plan a specific eligibility requirement for any local government applying for mitigation grant funding. Communities with an adopted plan will therefore become “pre-positioned” and more apt to receive any available mitigation funds.
Mitigation planning has the potential to produce long-term and recurring benefits by breaking the repetitive cycle of disaster loss. A core assumption of mitigation is that current dollars invested in mitigation practices will significantly reduce the demand for future dollars by lessening the amount needed for emergency recovery, repair and reconstruction. Mitigation practices will also enable local residents, businesses and industries to re-establish themselves in the wake of a disaster, getting the community economy back on track sooner and with less interruption.
Don shares, “Natural disasters are a part of the world around us. Their occurrence is natural and inevitable, and there is little we can do to control their force and intensity. However, through ‘Hazard Mitigation Planning, we can control what comes afterward. By minimizing the impact of natural hazards upon our built environment, we can prevent such events from resulting in disasters.”
The input of the community is needed to assist with the planning process. Questions such as what has happened in the past, what is in the works currently, and what is the long-term plan for your community in the future? There is also a quick five-question survey that can be completed by clicking on the link below.
Are we ready? To share your thoughts, input or your expertise, please contact Don Florence at (209) 966-4330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.