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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is hazard mitigation and what is a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP)?
Answer: Hazard mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce long-term risks to human life and property from natural hazards. A Hazard Mitigation Plan is prepared by local governments in response to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390). These plans allow access to federal funding afforded under the Robert T. Stafford Act. These plans meet statutory requirements that include:
• Organizing resources
• Assessing risk
• Engaging the public
• Identifying goals and objectives
• Identifying actions
• Developing plan maintenance and implementation strategies.
The foundation of any mitigation plan is a risk assessment that looks at natural hazards of concern within a planning area. The principle objective of a mitigation plan is an action plan that identifies and prioritizes initiatives that are sustainable, cost-effective, and will avoid future impacts and losses to the hazards that may affect the jurisdiction.
Question: Why do local governments produce HMPs?
Answer: The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires states and local jurisdictions to prepare and submit a hazard mitigation plan to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Without an approved plan in place, the jurisdiction is out of compliance with the Act, thereby limiting eligibility for pre- and post-disaster mitigation grant funding available under the Robert T. Stafford Act. This funding is typically used for hazard mitigation and disaster recovery projects/programs. State plans are required to be updated every three years, and local jurisdictional plans must be updated every five years.
Question: What should a jurisdiction do with the results of a HMP?
Answer: Local governments should strive to implement the plan based on the priorities established through the planning process.
Question: What natural hazards are assessed in a HMP?
Answer: Local plans must be consistent with the State Hazard Mitigation Plan. The State identifies the minimum number of natural hazards of concern to be addressed by each local plan. The Washington State plan covers:
• Avalanche
• Drought
• Earthquake
• Flood
• Landslide
• Severe storm
• Tsunami
• Volcano
• Wildland fire.
While not an explicit requirement of the Disaster Mitigation Act, some jurisdictions also seek to include other hazards in their risk planning program. The Washington State plan also includes:
• Animal, crop, plant disease and infestation outbreak
• Dam safety
• Hazardous materials
• Pipelines
• Public health communicable disease outbreak, epidemic, and pandemic
• Terrorism
• Urban fire.
The hazards of concern to be addressed by the Clark County HMP will be determined early in the planning process.
Question: What local governments are participating in the HMP?
Answer: Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) will be leading the planning process for the HMP development. CRESA has invited all eligible jurisdictions within Clark County (cities and special purpose districts) to participate. Here is the current list of planning partners. More may be added later.

Clark County
City of Battle Ground
City of Camas
City of La Center
City of Ridgefield
City of Vancouver
City of Washougal
Town of Yacolt
Evergreen Public Schools
Clark Public Utilities
Port of Vancouver
Clark Regional Wastewater District
Battle Ground Public Schools
Vancouver School District
Ridgefield School District
Clark County Fire District 3

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