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.
Fairfax 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.