What is Hazard Mitigation?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines hazard mitigation as, “Any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.” Another way to understand hazard mitigation is as the prevention component of the emergency management process.
- Preparedness activities are the emergency plans, training, drills, and exercises that individuals, communities and first responders participate in on almost a daily basis. These are things done to get ready for an emergency or disaster before it happens.
- Response is the short-term, emergency actions taken to address the immediate impacts of a hazard.
- Recovery is the longer-term process of restoring the community back to normal or pre-disaster conditions.
- Mitigation activities are actions that will prevent or eliminate losses, even if an incident does occur. Mitigation can reduce or eliminate the need for an emergency response and greatly reduce the recovery period.
This may sound complicated, but we all do many of these things on a daily basis.
Why is Natural Hazard Mitigation Important?
Most people who live or work in Amador County have been affected by natural hazards in one way or another. Amador and its residents are vulnerable to a variety of hazards including flood, earthquake, wildfire, dam failure and severe weather events.
The rising costs associated with disaster response and recovery have focused the attention of federal, state, and local governments on addressing natural hazards before they occur. Obviously, torrential rains, floods, and wildfires 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; property damage and monetary losses; personal injury and loss of life; and the overall economic and social impact on the community can all be reduced, and in some instances eliminated through natural hazard mitigation.
Amador County Hazard Mitigation Plan & Plan Update Process
Mitigation planning is a process for state and local governments to identify community-level policies and actions that will mitigate and thus reduce the impacts of natural hazards. According to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local governments are required to complete a “Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP)” every five years in order to remain eligible for future federal disaster mitigation funding. Amador County’s last LHMP was completed in 2014.
Follow this link to view a PDF of the current LHMP: Amador County LHMP, 2014. Please note this is a large file, so you may experience a lengthy download time.
After securing Homeland Security grant funding, the County used a portion of the funds to support an update of their LHMP. This LHMP Update was developed by a Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee comprised of representatives from various County and City departments; special districts, neighboring jurisdictions, key federal state and local agency stakeholders, and the public. The plan addresses an updated list of hazards, including flood, dam and wildfires to earthquake and severe weather events. The plan assesses the likely impacts of these hazards to the people and property of the County and also establishes updated goals and prioritized projects to reduce the impacts of future disasters on people and property, as well as to critical facilities and infrastructure.
The plan helps reduce damages from natural hazards by defining the kinds of hazards and emergencies that are not only possible, but also most probable, and the history of where and when they have happened and where they are likely to occur in the future. Wherever possible, the plan identifies steps that help avoid, reduce, alleviate, or mitigate disaster damages.
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Hazard Mitigation Portal
For additional information on hazard mitigation and emergency preparedness, use the following website to discover the hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk! Just enter your street address and/or city and/zip code to find out. Remember, the best way to recover from disasters is by reducing the risks before a disaster strikes.
Hazard Mitigation Portal - MyHazards