The drought may be over, but disaster still looms. That’s the underlying presumption of the city’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) update, currently in process.
Healdsburg is vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters, including droughts, wildfires, flooding, landslides and earthquakes. A Local Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies risks and vulnerabilities that area-specific local natural disasters pose, serves as a long-term strategy for reducing identified risks and associated impacts to people and property, and provides a framework for future requests for federal assistance in case of an emergency or disaster.
The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 which originated this planning requires an LHMP to be updated every five years in order for an agency to continue to receive certain forms of federal disaster assistance.
A community workshop will be held on June 7 from 5 to 7pm at the Healdsburg Community Center in an open-house style, with a formal 10-minute presentation at 5 and 6pm. “Community members are encouraged to attend at any time during the two-hour workshop to discuss identified threats and how to reduce or prevent injury or damage and reduce risk from these hazards in the city,” said Healdsburg’s emergency manager Kelsey Carreiro.
Healdsburg’s first version of an LHMP was developed in 2005 as part of a larger regional plan, and was updated in 2011. In 2018, the LHMP update process resulted in a stand-alone plan, which the 2023 Plan will replace.
The 2023 LHMP update process will work to reassess these and other risks outlined in the 2018 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and provide the city with the necessary tools to prioritize future actions for reducing those risks.
“The plan must be approved by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by January 2024 to ensure the city has a current Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) in place,” said Carreiro.”The timeline is partially fluid, depending on the amount of input we receive throughout the planning process.”
The LHMP planning process is intended to be a collaborative effort with multiple opportunities for public input, the first of which is the LHMP survey to assess the community’s hazard mitigation awareness, preparedness and priorities.
“We encourage community members to take the survey and provide their input,” said Carreiro. “This is an opportunity for the community to have a say in the mitigation planning process, and help us develop a plan that reflects their needs and priorities.”
The survey can be completed in English at surveymonkey.com/r/LHMPEnglish, and in Spanish at surveymonkey.com/r/LHMPEspanol before Monday, June 12.
Several of the questions in the survey include valuable links or other information, including this one: “The time to sign up for emergency alerts is before an emergency occurs. If you have not subscribed to receive emergency alerts, please visit healdsburgemergency.org to sign up!”
Completing the survey also takes users to the same page to sign up for emergency alerts from Nixle, SoCo Alert and Healdsburg social media platforms.