YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED - Please take a few minutes to answer some questions about natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, severe weather, etc.) in our area: LINK TO SURVEY
Multnomah County is working on an update to its Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. Your comments and answers to a few questions will help improve the plan. When a draft plan is completed in early 2022, it will also be posted here for comments.
What is the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan and why is it being updated?
Every five years, Multnomah County is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update its Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP). This plan uses the best available information about natural hazards to come up with actions to protect life, property and the environment in future natural disasters. The current plan was completed in 2017, and will be updated by November 2022. We would like to get as much input as possible, to make sure that the plan reflects the interests and needs of the diverse population we serve. This plan update includes the Cities of Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, and Wood Village, Multnomah County, and, for the first time, the Port of Portland and Multnomah County Drainage Districts. The City of Portland has a separate NHMP, which is also in the process of being updated.
What is Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation is the work that is done before a disaster occurs, to lessen the severity of future natural disasters and make the community more resilient.
Successful hazard mitigation projects protect lives and property and also save the community money in the long run. It is estimated by FEMA that for every dollar spent on hazard mitigation, up to six dollars are saved when disasters strike.
What Hazards Are Covered in This Plan?
This plan only covers natural hazards; human-caused disasters such as terrorism and hazardous materials are covered in other plans. The State of Oregon lists natural hazards that have impacts across Oregon. Multnomah County communities plan for all of those except for coastal erosion and tsunami, which generally only damage coastal communities.
Multnomah County has the hazards listed below in its plan. Almost all of them are being impacted by climate change, and so it is more important than ever to prepare, because current information may underestimate the amount of risk we face.
- Increasing public awareness of risk and how to respond in an earthquake.
- Assisting residents gathering supplies in their homes to use after a severe earthquake.
- Supporting strengthening of bridges, levees, stone buildings, and other structures.
- Strengthening levees, dams, and floodwalls.
- Preserving floodplains as open space.
- Encouraging flood insurance to increase resilience of homes and businesses.
- Stabilizing slopes with trees and other vegetation.
- Limiting new construction in the highest hazard areas.
- Reducing urban heat effects by planting more trees.
- Advertising summer and winter shelter planning for those without climate-controlled living spaces.
- Promoting the use of anchors and tie-downs to protect manufactured homes in high winds.
- Publicizing community evacuation routes.
- Developing improved early warning systems.
- Assisting homeowners to create defensible space around homes and other structures.
- Removing invasive species to make forests more fire resistant.
- Upgrading air filtration in spaces that can be used as clean-air shelters.
To learn more about these hazards, go to Community Resources for Hazard Mitigation (English only). You can see maps of hazards at the following websites:
- HazVu - Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) site shows earthquake, landslide, and volcano risk by address throughout Oregon. (In English)
- Oregon Wildfire Explorer - Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) site shows wildfire risk by address throughout Oregon. (In English)
- National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website shows mapped flood risk by address across the United States. (In English)
- Metro Regional Barometer - Climate and Environment - Series of Metro Regional Government maps including Urban Heat Islands - locations where heat risk is the most severe. (In English)
Your input on natural hazards is important to the planning process. These questions will help us prioritize strategy and identify community needs. Thank you for your time!
Contact David Lentzner, Planning Division - firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 503.679.3275.