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Disasters don’t have to be disastrous

January 07, 2016

We can’t control the weather. But how we prepare for and respond to natural disasters can save lives, property and resources. With public meetings scheduled Jan. 20-22 to review Placer County’s latest hazard mitigation plan updates, now is our communities’ chance to help make sure our plans are as good as they can be.

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. Pursuant to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local jurisdictions are required to have a Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan 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 its 2010 plan. 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 disaster mitigation funds. 

Another benefit is to enhance the flood plain 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. Partnering with the county in this planning effort are the incorporated communities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Loomis and Rocklin and many special districts throughout the county.

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. The updated plan is now ready for public review before being made final.

Public meetings for community members to learn about and comment on the plan are scheduled as follows:

Public Meeting – Jan. 20, 2016; 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Fire Station 180, Placer County Fire, 11645 Atwood Road, Auburn, CA 94603-9522

Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee/Working Group – Jan. 21; 2016, 9 a.m. - noon
Auburn Justice Center, Community Room, 2929 Richardson Drive, Auburn, CA 95603

Public Meeting– Jan. 21, 2016; 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Station 51, North Tahoe Fire, 222 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, CA 96145

Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee/Working Group – Jan. 22, 2016; 9 a.m. - noon
Station 51, North Tahoe Fire, 222 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, CA 96145

The 9 a.m. meetings are designed for the planning committee; the 6 p.m. meetings are for the public. However, the public is encouraged to come to either meeting at their convenience. 

The public review draft of the LHMP update is now available in printed copy at the reference desks of the following Placer County libraries: Auburn, Rocklin, Granite Bay and Tahoe City; and online at http://www.placer.ca.gov/departments/ceo/emergency/local-hazard-mitigation-plan.

There are several options for providing input to the LHMP update public review draft:
• Email comments to yrodrigu@placer.ca.gov or jeanine.foster@fostermorrison.com
• Drop off written comments or send them by mail to: Placer County Office of Emergency Services, ATTN:  Young (Rod) Rodriguez, 175 Fulweiler Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603
• Bring comments to one of the public meetings
• Participate in an online survey on hazards and hazard mitigation:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PlacerHazardMitigationPlan.

Any other questions or comments may be addressed to Young (Rod) Rodriguez at 530-886-4602 or yrodrigu@placer.ca.gov.

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