The Placer County Office of Emergency Services is in the process of updating the county’s local multi-hazard mitigation plan originally written and approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2005. The plan’s purpose is to identify steps to help avoid, reduce or alleviate damages from natural emergencies such as floods, wildfires and severe winter storms by providing information and opportunities for greater planning.
The plan defines the kinds of emergencies that happen here, and where and when they have happened in the past. Additionally, the Plan could help lessen the cost of flood insurance within Placer County.
The public is welcome to provide input to the plan, either now or when a new draft is released in early 2009, when public meetings will be held. The public meetings will be announced when they are scheduled.
‘Updating this plan will provide additional information on how best to avoid, reduce or mitigate damages in future emergencies and, particularly, to identify where mitigation measures could have a high payoff in saving lives and property,’ said Rui Cunha, Placer County OES Program Manager.
‘The plan we wrote in 2005 has been useful in anticipating how particular emergencies will impact a particular region,’ said Cunha, ‘and has been an excellent resource to the news media, the public and other agencies about emergencies in Placer County.’
Information in the 2005 plan has helped to implement mitigation projects such as improved signage to help emergency responders find rural properties, addition of geographic information system datasets, and a hazardous vegetation abatement plan.
When completed, the updated plan will cover all public agencies in Placer County, such as fire districts, water agencies and public utility districts, state and federal agencies, as well as the County and the cities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln and Rocklin, and the Town of Loomis. The City of Roseville is doing a separate plan.
Having an approved plan is now a requirement to maintain local eligibility for disaster-mitigation funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which provided significant funding in Placer County following the floods in 1995 and 1997.
The current plan is available online at www.placer.ca.gov (go to ‘Emergency’), or a printed copy may be reviewed by contacting the Placer County Office of Emergency Services.
All interested parties may offer comments in various ways:
The final version of the plan will be reviewed by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and FEMA, then presented to the Board of Supervisors for review and approval. Subsequently, city councils and the governing boards of agencies participating in the plan update project will also have an opportunity to review and adopt the plan.