top of page

Polk County
NHMP Update

Polk County and its cities, in collaboration with the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience at the University of Oregon's Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, is updating its natural hazard mitigation plan. The plan seeks to mitigate vulnerabilities to natural hazards in Polk County, keeping people safe and protecting the infrastructure and environment that make Polk County a special place to live, work, and recreate. Keep an eye on this website for updates!

What is Mitigation?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines mitigation as “. . . the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters . . . through risk analysis, which results in information that provides a foundation for mitigation activities that reduce risk.” Said another way, natural hazard mitigation is a method of permanently reducing or alleviating the losses of life, property, and injuries resulting from natural hazards through long and short-term strategies. Example strategies include policy changes; such as updated ordinances, projects, such as seismic retrofits to critical facilities; and education and outreach to targeted audiences, such as Spanish speaking residents or the elderly. Natural hazard mitigation is the responsibility of the “Whole Community” - individuals, private businesses and industries, state and local governments, and the federal government.

Preparedness Cycle.jpg

There are four stages of emergency management (as shown in the diagram to the left). Mitigation happens before a natural hazard event and aims to build capacity to protect people and property ahead of a disaster. This plan focuses specifically on mitigation.

Understanding Risk.jpg

Mitigation is concerned with the natural hazards faced by the county (which we do not have much control over) and the county's vulnerabilities (over which we do have some control). As in the figure below, what mitigation does is to further separate the two to reduce risk.

bottom of page