Los Alamos County is finalizing its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP). This will be an update to the 2006 plan.
The purpose of this LHMP update is to assess risk to natural hazards, implement actions to reduce future losses, and maintain eligibility for federal mitigation funds in accordance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.
Members of the community have a very important role in this process, and a draft of the LHMP Update will be presented to the public at 6 p.m. May 19 in Council Chambers. The County’s consultant will be soliciting public comments about the document at the May 19 meeting.
After the presentation, the Plan will be located on the Emergency Management webpage at http://www.losalamosnm.us/emo/Pages/HazardMitigationPlanning.aspx and public comment will be taken on Open Forum.
Why does the County need a plan like this one? Most people who live or work in Los Alamos County have been affected by natural hazards in one way or another. The County and its residents are vulnerable to a variety of hazards including wildfire, flood, earthquake, dam failure and severe weather events.
The rising costs associated with disaster response and recovery have focused the attention of federal, state, and local governments on addressing natural hazards before they occur. Obviously, torrential rains, floods, and wildfires cannot be prevented from occurring. Planning for natural hazards and implementing mitigation measures, however, can reduce the impact of such events when they do occur.
Emergency response and recovery costs, property damage and monetary losses, personal injury and loss of life, and the overall economic and social impact on the community can all be reduced, and in some instances eliminated, through natural hazard mitigation.
The Emergency Management Office, housed under the Los Alamos Police Department is taking the lead on this LHMP update project. The update is being developed by a Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee comprised of representatives from various County and community departments, as well as key federal, state and local agency stakeholders.
The plan is addressing an updated list of hazards and will assess the likely impacts of these hazards to the people and assets of the County. The plan update process will also establish updated goals and prioritize projects to reduce the impacts of future disasters on people and property as well as to critical facilities and infrastructure.