The goal of the local emergency management program is to save lives, prevent property damage, and minimize damage to the environment. As Oceana County is vulnerable to a wide range of natural, technological, and human-related hazards, one of the first steps of building an effective emergency management program is to develop an understanding of those threats. This can be accomplished through the development of a Hazard Analysis. Once complete, a Mitigation Plan can be developed to identify the community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.
Purpose of the Hazard Analysis
A hazard analysis provides an understanding of the potential threats facing the community. By pinpointing the location, extent and magnitude of past disasters or emergency situations, and by examining knowledge of new or emerging risks, it is possible to determine the probability of such events occurring and the vulnerability of people and property. Coupled with relevant land use, economic and demographic information from a well prepared “community profile,” Emergency Management Directors/Coordinators can make assumptions about those segments of the community that might be impacted by various types of incidents. This, in turn, allows them to set priorities and goals for resource allocation and response, recovery and mitigation activities prior to an incident occurring. Collectively, these decisions are the cornerstone of the community’s emergency management program and should guide all decisions pertaining to community emergency management activities.
Purpose of Hazard Mitigation
Hazard mitigation is any action taken before, during, or after a disaster to permanently eliminate or reduce the long-term risk to human life and property from natural, technological, and man-made hazards. The purpose of mitigation planning is to identify policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future losses. Mitigation Plans form the foundation for a community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. The planning process is as important as the plan itself. It creates a framework for risk-based decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.
Local governments benefit from mitigation planning by:
- Identifying cost-effective actions for risk reduction that are agreed upon by stakeholders and the public
- Focusing resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities
- Building partnerships by involving people, organizations, and businesses
- Increasing education and awareness of hazards and risk
- Communicating priorities to state and federal officials
- Aligning risk reduction with other community objectives
Hazard Mitigation Assistance
State, Indian Tribal, and local governments are required to develop a hazard mitigation plan as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance. Please visit the Hazard Mitigation Assistance page at https://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance for more information on the specific plan requirements for the various mitigation grant programs, as well as FEMA funds available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.
Oceana County’s Hazard Management Plan
Oceana County’s Hazard Management Plan combines the Oceana County Hazard Analysis with the Oceana County Hazard Mitigation Plan. The document was originally developed in 2014 by West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development under the direction of the Oceana County Emergency Management Department and in conjunction with representatives from the State of Michigan, local governments, involved public safety agencies, affected businesses, and interested members of the public.
If you have any questions or comments in relation to the Community Profile or Hazard Analysis, please contact the Oceana County Emergency Management Department.