What is Hazard Mitigation?

The term "Hazard Mitigation" describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by hazards, such as floods, wildfires, landslides, tornadoes, and earthquakes.   As the costs of disaster impacts continue to rise, governments and citizens must find ways to reduce hazard risks to our communities. Efforts made to reduce hazard risks are easily made compatible with other community goals; safer communities are more attractive to employers as well as residents.  As communities plan for new development and improvements to existing infrastructure, mitigation can and should be an important component of the planning effort.

While mitigation activities can and should be taken before a disaster event has the chance to occur, after disasters hazard mitigation is essential.  Oftentimes after disasters, repairs and reconstruction are often completed in such a way as to simply restore damaged property to pre-disaster conditions. These efforts may “get things back to normal”, but the replication of pre-disaster conditions often results in a repetitive cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Hazard mitigation breaks this repetitive cycle by producing less vulnerable conditions through post-disaster repairs and reconstruction. The implementation of such hazard mitigation actions now by state and local governments means building stronger, safer and smarter communities that will be able to reduce future injuries and damages.

About the Project

Yuma County created its previous Mitigation Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Stafford Act, the National Flood Insurance Act, and 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The last plan was approved by FEMA in 2010, and was adopted by the County Board of Supervisors and municipalities within Yuma County.  These plans must be updated and approved by FEMA every five years. 

Yuma County and its participating jurisdictions (the Cities of San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma; Town of Wellton), the Cocopah Tribe, have now complete and received approval from FEMA for the County-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Plan participants will benefit from this project by:

  • Ensuring eligibility for all sources of hazard mitigation funds made available through FEMA. 
  • Increasing public awareness and understanding of vulnerabilities as well as support for specific actions to reduce losses from future natural disaster.
  • Ensuring community policies, programs, and goals are compatible with reducing vulnerability to all hazards and identifying those that are incompatible.
  • Building partnerships with diverse stakeholders increasing opportunities to leverage data and resources in reducing workloads as well as achieving shared community objectives.
  • Expanding the understanding of potential risk reduction measures to include: local plans and regulations; structure and infrastructure projects; natural systems protection; education and awareness programs; and other tools. 
  • Informing the development, prioritization, and implementation of mitigation projects. Benefits accrue over the life of these projects as losses are avoided from each subsequent hazard event.


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