As the costs of disasters continue to rise, governments and ordinary citizens must find ways to reduce hazard risks to our communities and ourselves. Efforts made to reduce hazard risks are easily made compatible with other community goals; safer communities are more attractive to employers as well as residents. As communities plan for new development and improvements to existing infrastructure, mitigation can and should be an important component of the planning effort. Mitigation means taking action to reduce or eliminate long-term risk from hazards and their effects.
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and 44CFR 201.6 mandate counties and municipalities to construct and implement a hazard mitigation plan in order to receive State and Federal disaster and mitigation assistance funding. This plan will outline the hazards faced by Durham County and the municipalities located within the County. A rating is given to each hazard for the purposes of prioritizing the mitigation process. This rating is reflective of information from the State of North Carolina and the concerns of Durham County and its municipalities. Not all mitigation is possible or cost effective.
Durham County and the municipalities face a number of hazards everyday. During the past decade and a half we have faced the effects of damaging tornadoes, severe winter storms, high winds, freezing temperatures, chemical spills and more. We have learned from each disaster and each incident and your emergency services and response forces are better trained and better equipped to deal with these hazards than ever before. Numerous hazard mitigation efforts have been ongoing in Durham County and continue to evolve to this day. As such, this Plan will act as a steering tool to focus future mitigation actions.
Beginning in 2014, Durham County joined with Alamance and Orange counties to develop a three-county regional hazard mitigation plan, supported and funded by the State of North Carolina. Approved by FEMA in August 2015, the Regional Plan became the official hazard mitigation plan for Durham County, adopted October 12, 2015, and for the City of Durham, adopted June 6, 2016.