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Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

Reduce or remove long-term risk and protect the people and property of the County from the effects of events like fire, flood, earthquake, terrorism, etc. through planned regular actions. Use of this plan could make Placer County and participating jurisdictions’ eligible for certain federal disaster assistance.


2016 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) - FEMA Approved

 (The Placer County 2016 LHMP was approved by FEMA on June 13, 2016.)




Nationwide, taxpayers pay billions of dollars annually helping communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals recover from disaster. Some disasters are predictable and, in many cases, much of the damage can be reduced or even eliminated through hazard mitigation planning. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has targeted natural disaster loss reduction as one of its primary goals.  Pursuant to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local jurisdictions are required to have a FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) to better position resources in advance of a disaster and to maintain eligibility for certain disaster assistance and hazard mitigation funding programs.

Placer County is leading the update to the 2016 LHMP. This process began in April of 2015 with an initial public meeting and the establishment of a planning committee that included representatives of various local agencies and the public in western and eastern regions of Placer County. The purpose of this update is to assess risk to natural hazards such as floods, wildfires drought, and other severe weather events; implement actions to reduce future losses; and maintain eligibility for federal mitigation funds.  Another benefit of this mitigation planning update process is to enhance the floodplain management programs of the county and cities which can help reduce the costs of flood insurance to residents of Placer County through participation in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. 

Hazard Mitigation Plan and Plan Update Process

Mitigation planning is a process for state and local governments to identify community-level policies and actions that will mitigate and thus reduce the impacts of natural hazards.  According to a federal law, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local governments are required to complete a “local hazard mitigation plan (LHMP)” every five years in order to remain eligible for future federal disaster mitigation funding.  

After securing FEMA mitigation grant funding in 2014, Placer County commenced the updating/planning project in early 2015.  Partners in this planning effort include the cities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, and Rocklin, the Town of Loomis, and several special districts.  This LHMP update is being developed by a Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee comprised of representatives from various County and City departments; neighboring jurisdictions, key federal state and local agency stakeholders, and the public.  The Plan is addressing an updated list of hazards, including flood, dam failure, wildfire, earthquake, drought and water shortage, severe weather, and agricultural hazards such as pests and invasive species.  The Plan will assess the likely impacts of these hazards to the people and property of the County and will also establish updated goals and prioritize mitigation projects to reduce the impacts of future disasters on people and property as well as to critical facilities and infrastructure.

Wherever possible, the Plan identifies steps that help avoid, reduce, alleviate, or mitigate disaster damages.  Another benefit of mitigation planning is that it can also help reduce the cost of flood insurance in Placer County through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. 

What is Hazard Mitigation?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines hazard mitigation as, “any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.”  Another way to understand hazard mitigation is as the prevention component of the emergency management process.

  • Preparedness activities are the emergency plans, training, drills, and exercises that individuals, communities and first responders participate in on almost a daily basis.  These are things done to get ready for an emergency or disaster before it happens.
  • Response is the short-term, emergency actions taken to address the immediate impacts of a hazard.
  • Recovery is the longer-term process of restoring the community back to normal or pre-disaster conditions.
  • Mitigation activities are actions that will prevent or eliminate losses, even if an incident does occur. Mitigation can reduce or eliminate the need for an emergency response and greatly reduce the recovery period.

This may sound complicated, but we all do many of these things on a daily basis.

Why is Natural Hazard Mitigation Important?

Most people who live or work in Placer County have been affected by natural hazards in one way or another.  Placer County and its residents are vulnerable to a variety of hazards including floods, dam failure, wildfire, drought, and other 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, events like torrential rains and floods cannot be prevented from occurring.  However, planning for natural hazards and implementing mitigation measures 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.

National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System

The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.  As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the goals of the CRS Program.  The objective of the CRS is to reward communities for what they are doing, as well as to provide an incentive for implementing additional flood protection activities.  The reduction in flood insurance premium rates is provided according to a community’s CRS classification.  Placer County is currently a CRS Class 5, which provides a 25 percent discount on flood insurance for those located within the special flood hazard area (SFHA) and a 10 percent discount for those located in non-SFHA areas.  This discount currently saves county residents over $76,000 annually.

For more information on this project and how to provide input, contact Young Rodriguez at (530) 886-4600 or