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Hazard Mitigation - One Component of a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

View the 2015 multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. You can also visit Annex B to view only the jurisdiction-specific information for the Town of Cary. 

Natural hazards are a part of the world in which we live. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, wildfires and other hazardous events are natural phenomena. Natural hazards are inevitable and there is little humans can do to control their force and intensity. However, how the natural and the built environments interact with hazards is quite different.

The natural environment is amazingly recuperative from the forces of wind, rain, fire and earth, and can regenerate with resiliency, restoring habitat and ecosystems in time for the next generation of plant and animal life to begin anew. The built environment, however, is not as resilient. Natural disasters occur when human activity in the form of buildings, infrastructure, agriculture and other land uses are located in the path of the destructive forces of nature.

Since the built environment is more susceptible to natural hazards and cannot recuperate like the natural environment, communities impacted by a natural hazard often recover only over a long period of time and at great social and economic cost. In recent years, the frequency and impact of natural disasters has increased not because natural hazards occur more frequently, but because more people are choosing to live and work in locations that put them and their property at risk.

While natural hazards cannot be prevented, local communities can use various means to reduce the susceptibility of people and property to damage. Preparing for natural hazards involves establishing a comprehensive emergency management system consisting of the following four component activities:
  1. Preparedness activities undertaken to improve a community’s ability to respond immediately after a disaster. Preparedness activities include the development of response procedures, design and installation of warning systems, exercises to test emergency operational procedures, and training of emergency personnel.
  2. Response activities designed to meet the urgent needs of disaster victims. Response activities occur during the disaster and include rescue operations, evacuation, emergency medical care and shelter programs.
  3. Recovery activities designed to rebuild after a disaster. These activities include repairs to damaged public facilities such as roads and bridges, restoration of public services such as power and water, and other activities that help restore normal services to a community.
  4. Hazard mitigation activities designed to reduce or eliminate damages from future hazardous events. These activities can occur before, during and after a disaster, and overlap all phases of emergency management.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and NC Senate Bill 300 each require local government to have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan. Plans can be individual or multi-jurisdictional in nature, and once approved must be updated every five years. Failure to maintain an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan will result in ineligibility to receive federal and state pre- and post-disaster assistance funds.

Contact

If you would like more information on Cary’s Hazard Mitigation Plan or review the current Plan, please contact:
 
Mary Beerman
Senior Planner
(919) 469-4342.
mary.beerman@townofcary.org