Hazard Mitigation is the sum of the many actions that can be taken at the local and regional level to reduce or eliminate the risk to human life and property from a variety of natural hazards, including drought, hurricanes, winter storms, and wildfires. Mitigation happens before disaster strikes, saving communities time, effort, and money as opposed to reacting only after an emergency.
GWRC produced the first regional all-hazards mitigation plan in 2006, and updated the plan in 2011 and 2017. (The 2017 plan is linked below.) This plan is intended to help citizens and governments in the region understand the risk of natural hazards, and how to mitigate these risks in the future.
This plan serves two roles within the region. First, the plan identifies natural hazards that pose a threat to the safety, health, and economy of the region and its member jurisdictions, as well as steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of these natural hazards in the future, helping communities get back on their feet and back to normal lives as quickly and easily as possible. The community can reduce both the impact and cost of natural disasters through advance preparation rather than acting only after disaster has struck.
Second, this plan ensures the region’s compliance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which requires that local governments develop natural hazard mitigation plans in order to qualify for both pre-disaster and post-disaster grant opportunities. The Act requires that these plans demonstrate “a jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risk from natural hazards, serving as a guide for decision makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of natural hazards.” These plans must be updated every 5 years.