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Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

Draft Pending FEMA Approval

Background

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA) established requirements for state and local government agencies to prepare comprehensive Disaster Mitigation Plans in order to be eligible for hazard mitigation grant funding. In 2010, following a comprehensive risk reduction analysis, the County Office of Emergency Services completed a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) for the period 2010-2015. The LHMP represents the County's commitment to reduce risks from natural and other hazards and serves as a guide for decision-makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of potential hazards. The LHMP also builds on the objectives established in the Public Safety Element of the County's General Plan. After review and approval of the LHMP by the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Board of Supervisors adopted the 2010-2015 LHMP.

The purpose of hazard mitigation is to implement and sustain actions that reduce vulnerability and risk from hazards, or reduce the severity of the effects of hazards on people, property, and the environment. Mitigation actions include both short-term and long-term activities which reduce the impacts of hazards, reduce exposure to hazards, or reduce effects of hazards through various means including preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience measures.

The DMA also requires the LHMP to be monitored, evaluated, and updated within a five-year cycle for the County to remain eligible for disaster related benefits under the DMA. The updated 2015-2020 LHMP was approved in 2016 by CalOES and FEMA, as submitted, and adopted by the Board of Supervisors. The update was informed by the County Climate Action Strategy of 2013. The review by FEMA noted the plan has many strengths including the use of available data, risk analysis, identification of hazards, mitigation strategies, and identification of multiple hazards related to drought and climate change.

2021 Update

Over the past year the Planning Department has coordinated the update of the LHMP among all County departments identified as lead departments in the mitigation action plan. Planning staff worked with County departments to evaluate the hazards, risks, and mitigation measures identified in the previous plan within their respective areas of expertise and incorporated the results of these evaluations into the update of the plan. The updated plan, entitled "County of Santa Cruz Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2021 - 2026" has been reviewed and revised in 2021 to reflect current information, changes in development, progress in local mitigation efforts, and changes in priorities.

The 2021 update of the County’s LHMP has been submitted to CalOES and FEMA for review and approval. Following state and federal review and approval, the 2021 LHMP will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for adoption. The current document can be viewed through the links below. A guidance document provides a summary of the significant updates. A hard copy is available at the Planning Department at the County Administrative Building, 701 Ocean Street, 4th Floor, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. The County staff contact for the LHMP is David Carlson, Resource Planner, david.carlson@santacruzcounty.us, (831) 454-3173.

County of Santa Cruz Local Hazard Mitigation Plan 2021-2026 (entire document)

Guide to the LHMP 2021-2026 Update