Disasters can cause loss of life, damage buildings and infrastructure, and have devastating consequences for a community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. Albany aims to be a resilient community that can survive, recover from, and thrive after a disaster, while maintaining its unique character and way of life. Albany envisions a community in which the people, buildings, and infrastructure are resilient to disasters, City government provides critical services in the immediate aftermath of a devastating event of any kind, and basic government and commercial functions resume within thirty days of a damaging earthquake or other significant event.
For many years, the City has pursued initiatives to identify and mitigate Albany’s hazard vulnerabilities. Hazard mitigation, actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life, property and the environment from hazards, can significantly reduce these impacts. Hazard mitigation is most effective when a long-term plan is developed before a disaster occurs.
Hazard Mitigation Goals
Albany’s objectives for reducing disaster risk include:
- Reduce the potential for loss of life, injury and economic damage to Albany residents and businesses from hazards such as earthquakes, infrastructure failure, severe weather, wildfires, terrorism, sea level rise,
hazardous materials releases, floods, landslides, public health epidemics, and their secondary impacts.
- Increase the ability of the city government to serve the community during and after hazard events by mitigating risk to key city functions such as response, recovery and rebuilding.
- Protect Albany’s unique character and values from being compromised by hazard events.
- Encourage mitigation activities to increase the disaster resilience of institutions, private companies, and lifeline systems that are essential to Albany’s functioning.
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Community Development Department prepared the City’s current Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, in partnership with other City departments, as part of a community planning process. Different from the Emergency Operations Plan, the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) is essential for the City of Albany when preparing for future uncertainties and events. Though the effect of hazardous events cannot be eliminated or anticipated fully, the LHMP lays out the ways in which the City of Albany can further understand and reduce extreme consequences of potential hazards and disasters. The LHMP identifies potential hazards, assesses vulnerability, and identifies specific actions that can be taken to reduce the risk from these hazards. It involves strategies such as planning, programs, projects, and other activities that can mitigate the impacts of hazards. The responsibility for hazard mitigation lies with many, including private property owners, business and industry, and local, state, and federal government.
The City of Albany City Council passed Resolution 2018-2 on January 8, 2018, formally adopting the plan. The plan was approved by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services on August 1, 2018, and by FEMA on August 20, 2018. the impacts of hazards. The responsibility for hazard mitigation lies with many, including private property owners, business and industry, and local, state, and federal government.
Staff are currently implementing the plan, which includes measures that emphasize hazard mitigation prior to disasters, including maintenance of infrastructure, strict code requirements, and community outreach and education.