Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Question: What is the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000?

Answer: The federal Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA) of 2000 (Public Law 106-390), commonly known as the 2000 Stafford Act amendments, was approved by Congress on October 10, 2000. This act required state and local governments to develop hazard mitigation plans as a condition for federal grant assistance. Among other things, this legislation reinforces the importance of pre-disaster infrastructure mitigation planning to reduce disaster losses nationwide. DMA 2000 is aimed primarily at the control and streamlining of the administration of federal disaster relief and programs to promote mitigation activities. Prior to 2000, federal legislation provided funding for disaster relief, recovery, and some hazard mitigation planning. The DMA improves upon the planning process by emphasizing the importance of communities planning for disasters before they occur.

Question: What is a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan?

Answer: A Local Hazard mitigation Plan is prepared by local governments in response to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390). These plans act as a keyway to federal funding afforded under the Robert T. Stafford Act. These plans meet statutory requirements that include:
  • Organizing resources
  • Assessing Risk
  • Engaging the public
  • Identifying Goals and Objectives
  • Identifying actions
  • Developing plan maintenance and implementation strategies
Question: What is meant by "mitigation"?

Answer: Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce long-term risks to human life and property from natural hazards. Sustained action means an action that is long term in its impact. This is an essential component of emergency management, along with preparedness, response and recovery. Disasters can have significant impacts on communities. They can destroy or damage life, property and infrastructure, local economies, and the environment.

Question: Who is involved?

Answer: The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 has defined a “local government” as:
  • Any county, municipality, city, town, public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (regardless of whether the council of governments is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law), regional or interstate government entity, or agency or instrumentality of a local government; any Indian tribe or authorized tribal organization, or Alaska Native village or organization; and any rural community, unincorporated town or village, or other public entity
  • Any local government wishing to pursue funding afforded under FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs must have an approved hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible to apply for these funds.
Question: What is the Steering Committee?

Answer: A committee made up of stakeholder representatives from within the planning area will oversee this plan update process. This committee makeup includes the following representation:
  • Citizens
  • County Special Districts
  • Municipal planning partners
  • Special District planning partners
  • Business interests
The Steering Committee will meet monthly throughout this process and provide direction and guidance to the planning team on implementation of the scope of work for this process. The Steering Committee will determine the goals and objectives for the plan, the public involvement strategy, review the risk assessment and provide input to the planning team on the assembly of the plan. All Steering Committee meetings are open to the public and the date and times of these meetings are posted on the Hazard Mitigation Plan website.

Question: What hazards does this Plan address?

Answer: This Plan will address natural hazards of concern that could impact Del Norte County. While the specific hazards of concern will be determined by the Steering Committee, typical natural hazards include events such as:
  • Dam Failure
  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Tsunami
  • Landslide
  • Severe Weather (Thunderstorms, Heavy Rains, High Winds, Extreme Heat, Solar Flares)
  • Wildfire
Question: Does the State of California have a State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan?

Answer: Yes The State of California is also required to respond to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. In fact, if the state does not have a plan, no local governments within the state are eligible for any of the programs these plan’s act as the keyway to. By law, the local plans are to be consistent with the recommendations of the state plan. The State plan can be viewed on-line by clicking HERE

Question: How does this Plan affect me?

Answer: As a citizen within a participating jurisdiction, you will be able to reap the benefits of the risk reduction actions identified by your local government. Sometimes these can be a direct impact to your property in the form of reduced insurance premiums and reduced risk if you live in a high hazard area. Most of the time, these benefits are secondary. By reducing risk exposure, your local government does not have to expend as many resources on preparedness, response or recovery from the impacts of natural hazards.
Question: How will this Plan affect my community?
By participating in this planning effort and adopting the updated plan, your community will be eligible to pursue funding under any of the 5 FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs. These programs provide millions of dollars worth of grant funding annually for risk reduction measures identified in these plans. 

Question: Why should I get involved?

Answer: The law specifies that this be an “open public process” where the public is given the opportunity to provide comment on all phases of the Plan’s development. The reason that this is important is that it is the average citizen that is most severely impacted by the impacts of natural hazards. When these events occur, homes are damaged, functionality of critical facilities is interrupted, services are interrupted, and the economy is impacted; all having a direct impact on the citizen. The principal goal of this Plan is to reduce risk. The large majority of the risk exposure within the County is privately held property. It is not possible to identify and implement risk reduction strategies without the support of the property owners targeted by these strategies. Therefore, there must be public support for these initiatives in order for there to be any successful implementation of the recommendations of this Plan.

Question: What can I do to support the process?

Answer: Participate! When you see a notice for a public meeting, make an attempt to attend at least one meeting. When you see an article in the paper about this plan, read it. If you get mailed a questionnaire, please complete it. Review the website periodically to obtain an update on the process. And most importantly, spread the word. Tell your friends, family, and neighbors about this process. This plan is very important to the health and welfare of the citizens of Del Norte County. If you have additional questions or want to provide input, please use our comment form below.