Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

Palo Alto is susceptible to natural disasters ranging from earthquakes, to fires, to floods, among other hazards.  Recurring events within California, across the nation, and around the world remind us that we are vulnerable to nature’s wrath. But understanding how these hazards could impact our community and then developing strategies to lessen or eliminate their impacts is the purpose of mitigation planning.

The Palo Alto Local Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan identifies and prioritizes potential and existing hazards across jurisdictional borders, including hazards that may be further amplified by climate change. In an effort to guide the ongoing hazard mitigation efforts, mitigation objectives are identified with prioritized actions for each objective. Through mitigation projects, hazards will have smaller impacts on Palo Alto in the future.   

Why does Palo Alto Need One? 

The federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA) requires all cities, counties, and special districts to adopt a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) to receive disaster mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This plan must be adopted by local government every five years. The DMA provides that a local agency may adopt a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan or participate in the preparation of and adopt a Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Palo Alto Annex to the Santa Clara County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

The City of Palo Alto participated in the multi-jurisdictional planning process that resulted in a Countywide Local Hazards Mitigation Plan (LHMP); this multi-jurisdictional plan has been approved by the State of California and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Palo Alto Annex to this plan was adopted by the City Council on 16 October 2017. 

2017 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan(PDF, 7MB)

Santa Clara County LHMP Volume 1 (PDF)

Santa Clara County LHMP Volume 2 (PDF)

Palo Alto Stakeholder (Public) Meetings

  • 27 April 2016: Stakeholder (Public) Workshop 1: Introduction to Local Hazard Mitigation Planning / Identification of Hazards
  • 30 April 2016: Public Outreach Event
  • 7 May 2016: Public Outreach Event

2016 May Fete Parade(PDF, 243KB): Introduction to LHMP and Vulnerability Review. 

  • 5 August 2016: Stakeholder (Public) Workshop 2: Develop Mitigation Goals and List of Strategies

Palo Alto City Staff Internal Planning Team Meetings

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP)?

 The LHMP identifies and prioritizes potential and existing hazards across jurisdictional borders, including hazards that may be further amplified by climate change. In an effort to guide the ongoing hazard mitigation efforts, mitigation objectives are identified with prioritized actions for each objective.  Through mitigation projects, hazards will have smaller impacts on Palo Alto in the future.   

  • Why does Palo Alto need one?

The federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA) requires all cities, counties, and special districts to adopt a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) to receive disaster mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This plan must be adopted by local government every five years.  

  • Aren’t there already a number of planning efforts ongoing like this one? 

Yes, The City is revising the existing Comprehensive Plan and has adopted the Sustainability & Climate Action Plan.  Both of these documents will be informative to the LHMP.  Additionally, FEMA has placed a higher emphasis on adaptation planning so this year’s effort will draw heavily on the S/CAP.  FEMA has also created an incentive for LHMAPs to be linked to jurisdictional General Plans or Comprehensive Plans to demonstrate the strong relationship between mitigation and comprehensive planning. 

2011 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan