Hazard Mitigation Plan
Benton County has developed a Hazard Mitigation Plan. The project was funded through grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with county matching funds.
The mitigation plan identifies steps that can be taken to eliminate or minimize the threat to persons and property posed by potential disasters, such as windstorms, fires, floods and earthquakes. Local officials use the mitigation plan to identify specific steps or mitigation strategies that can be taken to minimize the impact of natural disasters. Such steps could include zoning changes, revisions to building codes and disaster-response training for local citizens.
The planning process for the county, led by Benton County Emergency Management (BCEM), began in late 2002. The county forwarded its plan to the state in April 2004. The state and FEMA have approved the plan.
The Hazard Mitigation Plan for Benton County can be viewed online by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?
A: A Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) is created to protect the health, safety and economic interests of residents by reducing the impacts of natural hazards through mitigation planning, awareness and implementation of mitigation alternatives. Hazard mitigation is any action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards. It is an essential element of emergency management, along with preparedness, response and recovery. The plan will serve as a foundation for hazard mitigation activities within Benton County.
Q: What is the difference between a natural hazard and a technological hazard?
A: Technological hazards result from actions or facilities created by people, while natural hazards exist because of the natural environment in which a community is located. Technological hazards typically include civil disturbances, dam failure, hazard materials, pipelines, radiological, terrorism and transportation. Natural hazards typically include floods, landslides, wildfires, severe winter storms, windstorms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Q: Why is it important to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan?
A: The federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires the development of a Hazard Mitigation Plan as a condition of receiving mitigation funds should a disaster occur. If a community identifies projects that can be implemented prior to a disaster and that can mitigate the potential impacts of a hazard, the community may apply for funding to implement the proposed mitigation alternative. To be eligible for implementation funding, Washington state communities must have Hazard Mitigation Plans approved by both the state and FEMA.
Q: How can I get additional information?
A: The Hazard Mitigation Plan for Benton County is available online here.