We Need Your Comments on Northern Virginia’s Hazard Mitigation Plan

Posted at 3:50 p.m.

Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is commonly defined as sustained actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects. Furthermore, hazard mitigation planning focuses attention and resources on community policies and actions that will produce successive benefits over time.

Developing a hazard mitigation plan enables local governments to:

  • Increase education and awareness around hazards, and vulnerabilities.
  • Build partnerships for risk reduction.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation PlanFairfax County is covered under the Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Plan (PDF), which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2012. The plan addresses hazards such as floods, winter storms, severe storms, tornadoes, drought, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, geologic/karst, dam failures and extreme temperatures.

The Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from 21 jurisdictions, is in the process of updating the plan and having it approved by February 2017 to comply with the five year update cycle required by FEMA.

The 2017 Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Plan’s hazard identification and risk assessment chapter (PDF) is now available for public review and comment. Please email any comments by Sunday, June 26 to oem-hazardmitigation@fairfaxcounty.gov.


About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

5 responses to “We Need Your Comments on Northern Virginia’s Hazard Mitigation Plan”

  1. JB says :

    It has been mentioned before, but bears repeating: This especially applies to facilities or to folk living in low or unstable (steep) soils, but generally to all who are dependent on any of our straining infrastructures. All development that decreases soil perfusion surface, will increase point saturations and instability. Permitting such development for revenue purposes can be a Faustian bargain for the county, and cause unmitiagtable & irreversible harm to neighboring and downstream/nearby properties. At some point, nearby owners will recognize the liability of such developers & agencies responsible for such careless development.

  2. barbara says :

    This seems comprehensive from my HOA perspective. Where is planning done for “unnatural” emergencies and hazards (e.g., terrorist attack)?

    • Fairfax County Emergency Information says :

      Barbara … Per FEMA, a local mitigation plan is the representation of the jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risks from natural hazards. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is just one of many emergency management plans for Fairfax County. The County is well aware of our risk for a terrorist attack and is planning, training and exercising to prepare for that possibility as well as the possibility of a wider range of hazards and threats. In general, Fairfax County takes an “all hazards” approach to emergency planning. All hazards planning is the development of the capacity to deal with multiple hazards through functional planning. Certain core functions will be needed in most disasters, such as communication, evacuation and sheltering and planning for those creates the capacity to deal with anticipated risk as well as the unexpected.

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