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Humboldt Operational Area - Hazard Mitigation Plan

Humboldt Operational Area - Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP)

Final Humboldt Operational Area Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the Humboldt Operational Area Hazard Mitigation Plan on March 18, 2014 pending adoption by participating jurisdictions. This Hazard Plan will serve as a coordinating document for the risk reduction efforts of 31 planning partners for the next five years. The Hazard Plan includes an assessment of the planning area’s risks from hazard events such as earthquake, flood, tsunami, and wildfire, and includes a list of proposed initiatives designed to minimize future hazard-related damage.

Hazard mitigation is the use of long and short-term strategies to reduce or alleviate the loss of life, personal injury, and property damage that can result from a disaster. It involves strategies such as planning, policy changes, programs, projects, and other activities that can mitigate the impacts of hazards. It is impossible to predict exactly when and where disasters will occur or the extent to which they will impact an area, but with careful planning and collaboration among public agencies, stakeholders and citizens, it is possible to minimize losses that disasters can cause.

The Hazard Plan is also a key to funding under FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs. Two planning partners have already used the plan to leverage FEMA grant funding. The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has obtained two hazard mitigation grants for pipeline replacement projects that will help ensure their capacity to provide potable water to residents in the event of an earthquake or flood disaster. The City of Fortuna also secured a hazard mitigation grant for the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Flood Protection Project.

The Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan is provided below. Click on a document name to download it to your computer.

Humboldt Operational Area Hazard Mitigation Plan
2013 Update (November 2013 Draft)

Table of Contents and Acknowledgements
Executive Summary
Part 1 - The Planning Process
Part 2 - Risk Assessment
Part 3 - Mitigation Strategy

Table of Contents
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Annexes For Municipalities
Part 3 - Annexes For Community Service Districts
Part 4 - Annexes For Fire Protection Districts
Part 5 - Annexes for Other Special-Purposes Districts


Program Details


Who is Involved?

Related Links



The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires local governments to adopt a federally approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan in order to receive pre- and post-disaster mitigation funds. The DMA emphasizes planning for disasters before they occur.


In order to maintain funding eligibility and in the spirit of good planning, The Humboldt Hazard Mitigation Partnership secured FEMA funds to update the 2008 Humboldt Operational Area Hazard Mitigation Plan. The partnership consists of eligible local governments within the Humboldt Operational Area. This partnership has been working together to address multiple hazards faced by Humboldt County communities. A progress report is provided on this website which demonstrates that much valuable work has already been accomplished.


This web page has been established to provide all interested citizens and stakeholders within the planning area access to the plan update process as well as information about plan implementation and grant opportunities.


This type of plan strives to inventory potential hazards that the defined planning area is most vulnerable to, assess the risk to the planning area’s citizens, buildings and critical facilities, and develop a mitigation strategy to reduce the risk of exposure and allow a swift and organized recovery should a disaster occur. A guiding principle and set of goals and objectives help to focus the planning process on selecting appropriate hazard mitigation activities for the Humboldt Operational Area. The hazards that this plan addresses include


  • Flood
  • Wildfire
  • Earthquake
  • Tsunami  
  • Severe Weather
  • Landslides and Other Mass Movement
  • Dam Failure
  • Fish Losses
  • Drought



Who is Involved?


There are 34 Planning Partners participating in the Plan update process from a broad range of jurisdictions including all of Humboldt County's seven cities and several special services districts. This is an increase of eight jurisdictions from the original group of 26. Planning Partners are jurisdictions that participate in the process along with the County to the extent that they are included in the Updated Hazard Mitigation Plan with their own Annex. This Annex is equivalent to having their own plan which makes them eligible for hazard mitigation funding from FEMA.


A 14 member Steering Committee was formed to oversee the details of the Plan Update and future implementation. The Steering Committee Membership consists of stakeholder representatives from a variety of local agencies and organizations with interests and experience relevant to the Hazard Mitigation program. The purpose and structure of this committee is guided by the Steering Committee Ground Rules. If you are interested in the activities of this committee, you are welcome to review their meeting Agendas and Minutes.


A Planning Team has been assembled to update the plan and facilitate stakeholder involvement. This team consists of County Planning staff and consultant staff from Tetra Tech and GHD.


Cybelle Immitt with the County Natural Resources Planning Division and Dan Larkin of the County Office of Emergency Services are coordinating the plan update process.

Name Phone Email
Cybelle Immitt (707) 268-3736 cimmitt@co.humboldt.ca.us
Dan Larkin (707) 268-2502 dlarkin@co.humboldt.ca.us




Related Links


Office of Emergency Services Hazard Mitigation Portal


FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Web Page

Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services

Humboldt County Fire Safe Council



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