Okanogan County is holding a public hearing on the new draft of its Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which has been undergoing an update over the past two years.
The detailed plan, which is required by state law, addresses floods, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, severe weather, volcanoes, hazardous materials and pandemics in its 795 pages. It also includes a chapter on wildland fire, but that topic is treated in more detail in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which the county has just begun to update.
Multi-hazard mitigation planning is a process used by state, tribal and local governments to identify hazards and vulnerabilities and develop a long-term strategy to reduce risk and future loss. The update has been in the works for two years, and the plan has already been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state. It ultimately must be adopted by the county commissioners.
The plan is a component of Okanogan County Emergency Management’s efforts to inform and educate the public and reduce the vulnerability of citizens and infrastructure in Okanogan County through comprehensive disaster planning and mitigation.
The multi-hazard plan isn’t an action plan, but more of a “wish list” that identifies beneficial mitigations and can be used to apply for grants, Okanogan County Emergency Manager Maurice Goodall said. The county, cities, fire districts, and organizations like the Okanogan Conservation District all use the plan to apply for funding.
The public hearing is Monday (July 11) at 10:30 a.m. People can comment in person or remotely at the hearing, or in writing before the hearing. A Zoom link and dial-in information are available in the legal notice in the June 29 issue of the Methow Valley News. Written comments can be sent to email@example.com.
People can also comment specifically on the environmental impacts of the plan. That deadline is July 8. Comments about environmental impacts go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Okanogan County Planning Director has determined the plan will not have significant environmental impacts. That determination will stand if public comments don’t point to probable and significant adverse impacts.
A copy of the plan is available on the Emergency Management website at www.okanogancounty.org/government/emergency_management/index.php.