For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 13, 2021
Public meetings coming up, including a wildfire discussion February 2
San Rafael, CA – Wildfires remain a threat during this relatively dry winter in Marin County, but chances are the weather will swiftly swing to the other side at some point during storm season. Whatever the threat, the County of Marin has been working to update its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), a document that helps mitigate the impacts of natural disasters.
In addition to the upcoming public meeting series, the County has also launched the MCM-LHMP Virtual Engagement System Session 2021: an online platform to provide information to residents of Marin on potential vulnerability to natural disasters, strategies to cope with those hazards, and a framework to prioritize mitigation goals and strategies. Residents are encouraged to participate in the online survey on that webpage.
The LHMP lays out a process to prepare for, and lessen the impacts of, specified natural hazards that are most likely to impact Marin, such as earthquakes, wildfires, floods, debris flows, wind damage, and tsunamis. The most recent LHMP update was in 2018 and was broadened to include local towns, cities, and special districts as planning partners.
Staff from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, the Marin County Fire Department, the Marin County Community Development Agency and the Marin County Department of Public Works are starting work on the next plan, slated to be adopted in 2023. Keeping the plan updated keeps Marin jurisdictions eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding both before and after emergencies. FEMA’s grant program helps pay for LHMP planning.
“There have been a lot of advances in science and changes to environmental conditions in recent years, and that’s why these plans are continually updated every five years as required by law,” said Community Development Agency Planner Heather Dennis. “For instance, we keep applying lessons learned from every wildfire, and we have additional mapping of risks that weren’t available for our last LHMP update.”
All of Marin’s towns and cities will participate in the plan’s update along with the North Marin Water District and the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. The multijurisdictional partnership was formed to pool resources and create a uniform hazard mitigation strategy that can be applied consistently to the defined planning area and used to ensure eligibility for specified grant funding success.
Jack LiebsterPlanning ManagerCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6278Email: Jack LiebsterCommunity Development website