Mitigation doesn’t make headlines. Mitigation planners don’t get to rescue cute furry animals off rooftops nor do we heroically fight forest fires that could consume country homes. We don't get to wear the cool reflective yellow jackets either.
Mitigation planning involves meetings, writing, and reviewing budgets and policies. Plans and projects can take months or years to develop. Why do it?!
Because mitigation pays off. There's a $4-$7 of benefit for every dollar spent on mitigation. And, mitigating risk makes communities safer and more resilient. Land use regulations ensure Mr. Fluffy's home isn't built in a floodplain. Firewise construction practices and landscaping protect that house in the woods.
On May 2nd, more than 50 local, state and federal partners gathered for a Resilience Workshop at Gresham City Hall to discuss mitigation. The workshop focused on ways to advance mitigation for the Cities of Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village, and Fairview, and in unincorporated areas of county.
Each community walked away with information to help move at least one mitigation project into action. Some highlights of the meeting include:
- Presentations from DOGAMI, FEMA and US Forest Service on NEW earthquake, landslide, levee, and wildfire hazard data specific to our communities
- Discussions with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development about land use mechanisms to reduce risk
- Technical support to special districts in county who are developing first ever natural hazard mitigation plans (NHMP)
- Discussion with our State Hazard Mitigation Officer about mitigation funding
Themes and priorities from the workshop will be discussed at the next NHMP Planning Team meeting this fall. Please contact Lisa Corbly if you are interested in learning more about the Resilience Workshop or the county's mitigation program. It may not be sexy, but this work is pivotal to building resilient communities. One day, we may get our own jackets.