Disasters are a part of life. And while we don't like thinking about the next big earthquake, wildfire or pandemic, being prepared and having a plan in place will us ride them out and on our way to recovery sooner.
The city is undertaking the creation of a hazard mitigation plan that will help us anticipate the natural and human-caused hazards that could affect Anaheim, assess their potential damage and create a path to better prepare our community.
What are the hazards?
The hazards we're assessing are both natural and caused by humans:
- Wildfires and urban fires
- Severe weather (wind, heat, drought)
- Climate change
- Vector and pest issues
- Public health emergencies
- Hazardous materials spills
- Civil unrest
Why do we need a plan?
A hazard mitigation plan will help Anaheim better plan for future emergencies. Usually after a disaster occurs, communities take steps to recover from the emergency and rebuild.
This plan is a way for the city to better prepare for these disasters, so when they do happen, less damage occurs and recovery is easier. Our plan will help us reduce property damage, injury and loss of life from disasters.
Aside from protecting public health and safety, this approach can save money. Studies estimate that every dollar spent on mitigation saves an average of four dollars on response and recovery costs.
Additionally, having a hazard mitigation plan in place will make Anaheim eligible for state funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency grants that can be used to further improve our safety and preparedness.
What's inside the plan?
The city's hazard mitigation plan includes four main sections:
- HAZARDS: a summary of the natural and human-caused hazards that pose a risk to our community, including descriptions of past disasters and the chances of these disasters occurring in the future
- THREAT ASSESSMENT: a look at the threat level and potential impacts for each hazard facing Anaheim residents, including our most vulnerable; this will include threats to important buildings and infrastructure, such as police and fire stations, hospitals, roads and utility lines.
- STRATEGY: specific policy recommendations that will reduce the threat and impact from hazards to Anaheim; these will be carried over the next five years
- MAINTENANCE: once a plan is in place, we'll continue to update it with new information or strategies
Who prepared the plan?
City staff, community stakeholders and consultants
What's the timeline?
- Early spring 2022: first draft ready for public review and feedback, click here for the plan
- Late spring 2022: submit revised draft to California Office of Emergency Services and Federal Emergency Management Agency
- May 2022: plan adoption pending state and federal review
How can I get involved?
- Email: reach out to our project leader, Dr. Jannine Wilmoth, at email@example.com
What can I do now to prepare for a disaster?
- Know the hazards that may affect you at your home, work, or school. You can find more here.
- Assemble an emergency kit for your home. In a disaster, you may have to rely on supplies in your emergency kit for at least three days. Be sure to include supplies for any pets and anyone in your home with special needs. Learn more here.
- Have a disaster plan for your household, including how people should contact each other if a disaster occurs and where you should meet.
- Know your neighbors and how you can help them in an emergency. In a disaster, emergency responders may not be able to reach your neighborhood for a while. Know if your neighbors have any special needs, and be sure to check on them as soon as you can.
- Make sure your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers you from disasters such as earthquakes and floods. If these disasters occur, having good insurance coverage will help you recover easier.
- Join Anaheim CERT, a group of volunteers trained by the city to assist emergency responders during disasters. Training is free and offered at times throughout the year.
- Speak to your employer about creating a disaster recovery, workforce communication, or business continuity plan. If they already have one or more of these plans in place, make sure you and your coworkers know it.