The Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services (OES), in conjunction with many of the incorporated communities and special districts in the county, is preparing a Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan will identify the risks posed by natural and human caused disasters, and prioritize ways to reduce disaster impacts. The plan is required under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 as a pre-requisite for receiving certain forms of Federal disaster assistance.

Disasters in Ventura County

As last year's wildfires demonstrated, Ventura County is highly vulnerable to disasters. In the past ten years alone, Ventura County has received five Presidential disaster declarations for fires, earthquakes, landslides, and flooding. Each year, these hazards cause damage that is not significant enough for a disaster declaration but nonetheless costs county residents, businesses, and taxpayers millions of dollars. The risks posed by these hazards increases as the county's population continues to grow.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000

In response to the rising cost of responding to, and recovering from, disasters, the President signed the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390) on October 30, 2000. Among other initiatives, the law encourages a planning process based on cooperation between state and local authorities, and the community-at-large, to reduce the effects of disasters. The law rewards local and state pre-disaster planning and promotes sustainability as a strategy for disaster resistance. Under the regulations implementing this law, states and local governments must have an approved, adopted hazard mitigation plan in place by November 1, 2004, to continue to be eligible for disaster assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for reviewing and approving state and local plans.

For more information, please visit the County Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan website.