Los Alamos County Hazard Mitigation Plan Draft Now Available For Public Comment

COUNTY News:

Los Alamos County is developing a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) Update to its 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. 

What is Hazard Mitigation? Hazard mitigation means any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards. 

Why is Natural Hazard Mitigation Important? 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.

What is the Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Process? The County’s Emergency Management Division is taking the lead on this LHMP Update project with assistance from a consulting firm. This LHMP Update is being developed by a Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee comprised of representatives from various County and community departments, key federal state and local agency stakeholders and the public.

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 also will 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. 

Members of the community have a very important role in this process and can participate two ways:

  • Visit Open Forum to read the draft Plan and take an online survey about recommendations using this link: http://www.losalamosnm.us/gov/Pages/PublicCommentForum.aspx; or
  • Visit the project webpage to read the draft Plan and download a paper survey about recommendations that can be filled out and dropped off at the Municipal Building (a comment box is located in the west vestibule) using this link: http://www.losalamosnm.us/emo/Pages/HazardMitigationPlanning.aspx

The 283-page Plan also is available at the reference desks of both public libraries as well as the public information counter located in the west vestibule of the Municipal Building.

The deadline for comments is 5 p.m., Aug. 15, 2015.

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