Submitted by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management
The first ever Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan in Grays Harbor County history has been approved by FEMA. The twenty jurisdictions included in the plan are Grays Harbor County, the cities of Aberdeen, Ocean Shores, Westport, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis,, Montesano, McCleary, Oakville and Elma, Fire Districts 2, 5, 7, 8, 16 and the South Beach Regional Fire Authority, Grays Harbor Hospital District #2, the Port of Grays Harbor, Grays Harbor Transit and Grays Harbor College. For many of these jurisdictions, this is their first Hazard Mitigation Plan.
The next step will be the adoption of the plan by all 20 participants. From the point the adoptions are made and forwarded to FEMA, the plan will be viable for 5 years. The goal is to work together to update and reapply again 5 years from now.
The Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan is very comprehensive, and was approved by FEMA without any revisions needed to be made. It is a testament to all of the representatives from the 20 jurisdictions included in the plan, who put in many hours of hard work dedicated to their specific entity. Grays Harbor County Emergency Management would also like to thank Beverly O’Dea and Bridgeview Consulting, LLC for their incredibly hard work and assistance to this planning effort.
WHAT IS A HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN?
According to FEMA.gov,
Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is most effective when implemented under a comprehensive, long-term mitigation plan. State, tribal, and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters, and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.
Developing hazard mitigation plans enables state, tribal, and local governments to:
- Increase education and awareness around threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities;
- Build partnerships for risk reduction involving government, organizations, businesses, and the public;
- Identify long-term, broadly-supported strategies for risk reduction;
- Align risk reduction with other state, tribal, or community objectives;
- Identify implementation approaches that focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities; and
- Communicate priorities to potential sources of funding.
Moreover, a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. Ultimately, hazard mitigation planning enables action to reduce loss of life and property, lessening the impact of disasters.
Featured photo credit: Skip Radcliffe