Planning for a Safer Future
Monterey County, in coordination with all of its incorporated municipalities, is preparing a comprehensive update to its Multi- Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan, which was initially developed and adopted in 2007, is intended to identify local policies and actions to reduce the risk and future losses from natural hazards such as flooding, severe storms, earthquakes, and wildland fires. The plan also serves to meet key federal planning regulations which require local governments to develop a hazard mitigation plan as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for hazard mitigation projects.
The 2013-2014 plan update process is being led by Monterey County’s Office of Emergency Services, with technical assistance from AECOM, and through a collaborative partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and National Association of Counties (NACo). The process includes an update to all elements in the existing plan to better reflect current conditions, along with the incorporation of new information to help address the potential long-term effects of climate change and sea level rise. The plan update is being guided by a multi-jurisdictional planning team that includes representation from participating communities and other key stakeholders, and will be informed through a sustained public outreach and engagement strategy. The plan update is scheduled to be completed by June 2014.
In support of this effort, Monterey County has been designated a national pilot community for incorporating the data and tools available through NOAA’s Digital Coast into local hazard mitigation planning. The Digital Coast is a web-based platform designed to address the needs of local communities and other organizations that manage the nation’s coastal resources. As part of this project Monterey County will leverage the data, tools, and training made available through Digital Coast in all aspects of the hazard mitigation plan update.
Upon completion, the plan will serve as a new road map to planning for a safer future in Monterey County. This includes (1) the identification, evaluation, and communication of hazard risks; (2) an assessment local capabilities to reduce those risks; (3) a strategy for implementing specific, achievable, and measurable hazard mitigation actions; and (4) procedures to establish a sustained, long-term process for increasing the resilience of all communities to natural hazards.
To learn more about this project, or to find out how you can be involved, please contact Sherrie Collins, Emergency Services Manager, at (831) 796-1901 or CollinsSL@co.monterey.ca.us. Additional information and regular updates through the duration of the project may be found on the County’s Hazard Mitigation website at http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/oes/hazard-mitigation.asp.
The Steering Committee is tasked with guiding the overall plan update process. Any final decisions or recommendations on the plan update will be made by the Steering Committee based on general consensus. If consensus cannot be reached or is in question, the matter will be voted on by Steering Committee Leads (majority rules). Steering Committee Leads are required to attend all Planning Team meetings, provide guidance and leadership when called upon, and act as a primary point of contact (Local Jurisdiction Lead) for the jurisdiction they are representing. Each Local Jurisdiction Lead is responsible for coordinating with other local staff from their jurisdiction at various points throughout the plan update process. This includes coordinating logistics for Individual Jurisdiction Meetings with AECOM, assisting with data collection and information sharing in support of plan updates, assisting with public outreach and stakeholder engagement efforts, updating and developing community-specific mitigation action plans in coordination with other local staff, reviewing and commenting on draft plan materials, and coordinating local plan adoption procedures.