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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.

LHMP 2010

2015 Master Plan Update – In Progress

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.

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.  Placer County’s last LHMP was completed in 2010.

After securing FEMA mitigation grant funding in 2014, Placer County is using the funds to support an update of their LHMP.  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. 

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.

Opportunities for Input

Members of the community have a very important role in this process. A draft of the LHMP Update will be available fall 2015 for review and comment by the public and all interested stakeholders.

Planning team and public meetings will also be held as part of the plan development process.  Please check back for information on specific meeting times and locations.

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

We want your input!

Please take our survey to assist with the update to our local hazard mitigation plan.

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