Emergency management goes beyond helping communities recover from a disaster. Preventive measures put in place now can help lessen losses in the future. Many repairs can even reduce or cut potential future damage. For homeowners and businesses, flood insurance is an important protection against financial loss. The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management (KCDEM) works with local governments and community partners to design long-range mitigation plans and projects. These plans address threats and hazards in Kitsap County.
How are mitigation strategies created in Kitsap County?
Every five years, KCDEM is required to submit a multi-hazard mitigation plan (MHMP) to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) KCDEM uses inputs from local school districts, military, non-for-profit organizations, city governments, tribes, and various county departments, along with state and federal input. The MHMP promotes sound public policy designed to protect residents, critical facilities, infrastructure, private property, and the environment from area threats and hazards. The MHMP lists preventative measures for each hazard.
The latest MHMP was approved in 2020 and can be found here (PDF.)
Earthquake Mitigation Example
The effects of a major earthquake in Kitsap County could be catastrophic. Mitigation strategies are particularly important. The MHMP has the background of earthquakes in Kitsap County. Descriptions of regional earthquakes, effects, and recent history of earthquakes are also included. The MHMP measures the probability of a major earthquake. You can also find the county’s earthquake vulnerability rating.
From the MHMP: “The risk rating for earthquakes is “high.” Damages are also considered “high.” An earthquake will affect the county’s infrastructure. A high rating means there is a strong potential for a disaster of major proportions in the next 25 years.”
Based on this rating, Kitsap County should do the following:
- Examine, test, and enforce effective building and zoning codes.
- Conduct public education on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
- Develop appropriate county and city government response plans.
- Exercise response plans.
Want details on county-level earthquake mitigation plans? Mitigation assessments for other threats and hazards? Please consult the 2019 MHMP (PDF). You can also email KCDEM for details.