City updating hazard mitigation plan as part of county overhaul

“You need to have a multi-hazard plan or you’re not eligible for reimbursement [through FEMA],” a city official said.

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land subsidence and flooding. Coupled with incidents the county considers to be high-risk, the city gave dam failure, radiological accidents, computer system failures and cyberterrorism the highest risk score. The mitigation plan helps city and county officials figure out how to lessen the impact of any potential incident, whether natural or man-made, and respond to an incident should it happen. The federal mitigation plan is a carbon-copy of a similar system California lawmakers imposed on counties and cities in 1991. City Manager John Donlevy said the federal government essentially franchised California’s version of the plan, “renamed it, took credit for it — but at the end of the day, the multi-hazard plans have been a core aspect of California’s emergency planning.” “What’s happening up in Northern California right now, Butte County, is a major deal,” Donlevy said, “but I can assure you somewhere as they were running for their lives and town hall was burning down in Paradise, one of the things that they did somewhere in the mix within minutes of it, I would guess, they grabbed everybody from that town council and at some point they adopted a resolution…you can literally tear [the mitigation plan] out of a binder, sign it on a card, take a selfie with it and shoot that thing [to federal emergency officials].” The Paradise City Hall didn’t burn to the ground — television reports during the fire showed it was still standing — though it has suffered from an outage of power and water services. With a mitigation plan in place, Paradise officials helped accelerate the authorization of federal emergency funds to the community, which could be used to help speed up the restoration of critical utilities. “You need to have a multi-hazard plan or you’re not eligible for reimbursement [through FEMA],” Donlevy said. With a near-unanimous vote — one person abstained from voting because he said he had not read the plan — the planning commission approved passing the hazard mitigation plan on to the city council. The council is expected to consider the plan during their Dec. 4 meeting.]]>

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