Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
The City of Sonora recently initiated a comprehensive Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP).
The LHMP presents a strategy for reducing the City’s vulnerability to the impacts of natural hazard events (such as wildfire, earthquakes, and drought) and human-caused hazards (hazardous materials spill, active shooter, pandemic). The purpose of the LHMP is to identify specific projects, actions, and partnerships for the City to become more resilient to hazards in the future.
What is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?
A Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) is a framework that guides our community in making decisions and developing policies to reduce or eliminate risk to life and property. The plan identifies the types of hazards that threaten our community, evaluates our vulnerability to those threats, and outlines a strategy to reduce or eliminate the risk posed by those threats. The City previously participated in the Tuolumne County Hazard Mitigation Plan as a jurisdictional partner. This is the first time the City will be preparing a jurisdiction specific LHMP.
Why is the plan important?
The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires that a community have an approved hazard mitigation plan to be eligible to apply for and receive certain types of FEMA hazard mitigation funds. Receipt of these funds can be critical to implementation of identified hazard mitigation programs that break the cycle of disaster, damage, restoration, and repeated damage.
How is a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan developed?
The ultimate goal of a LHMP is to identify and address hazards specific to Sonora, identify mitigation actions to reduce the severity and impact of each hazard, and achieve certification by FEMA for hazard mitigation funding.
The LHMP primarily consists of three components:
- Hazard Profiles: type, location, extent, previous occurrences, probability of future events.
- Vulnerability Assessment: impacts of hazards, vulnerability to each hazard, repetitive loss, potential dollar losses.
- Mitigation Strategies: overarching goals, specific actions, and prioritization of those actions to reduce hazard impacts.
The LHMP is developed from a process-oriented approach, utilizing the experience from community partners such as neighboring cities, Tuolumne County, and outside agencies. The community partners provide key stakeholder input on the hazard profiles, vulnerability assessment and mitigation strategies as outlined above. This participation is documented and incorporated into the LHMP. Additionally, the LHMP will identify how the plan will be monitored, evaluated, and updated within a five-year cycle.
Once completed, the LHMP is submitted to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA for review and comment. After conditional approval is received from Cal OES and FEMA, the LHMP is approved locally by the City of Sonora.
How can the public become involved in the hazard mitigation planning process?
Public participation in the process is important because it helps raise awareness of the hazards we face in Sonora and the actions needed to mitigate those hazards. By participating in the process, you will be taking time to consider the hazards in our community, the impact of those hazards on life and property, actions that need to be taken to reduce that impact, and the priority of these actions. The LHMP Planning Team will consider all input from the public and integrate it into the plan where appropriate. Opportunities for the community to provide input, ask questions, and review/comment on draft documents will be provided throughout the planning process. Your comments, questions, ideas, and concerns will have a significant role in the plan’s preparation.
TAKE OUR SURVEY. Beginning mid-September, the LHMP community survey will be available via SurveyMonkey. This survey will help the LHMP Planning Team better understand the community’s concerns about natural hazards and identify policies and projects that can help lessen the impact of future hazard events. The survey provides the opportunity for you to share your opinions and participate in the mitigation planning process. The survey should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete and is anonymous. Your information will be kept confidential. The final results of the survey will be included within the LHMP.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH EVENT. A community outreach event will be held on September 30th, 2023 in order to engage the public and provide further opportunity for community input. The City will host a booth at the Sonora Farmer’s Market between 9 AM and 11 AM. You are encouraged to stop by our booth and share your specific knowledge about hazards and hazard mitigation in your community. This is also an opportunity to be informed on the progress and status of the LHMP process.
PUBLIC REVIEW DRAFT LHMP. The LHMP will be made available for a two week public review period (anticipated to occur in early 2024), where the City welcomes your comments and questions.
CONTACT US. Contact the City with questions and comments via
Once available, draft documents will be posted here for review and comment