Hazard plan meeting set for Wednesday, May 30


The city of Seal Beach is preparing a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, or LHMP.

The first community outreach meeting about the development of the Hazard Plan will be held 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, in the Seal Beach Council Chambers.

This plan will help create a safer community for residents, businesses, and visitors. The LHMP allows public safety officials and city staff, elected officials, and members of the public understand the threats from natural and human-caused hazards in our community. The plan will also recommend specific actions to proactively decrease these threats before disasters occur.

An LHMP will let Seal Beach plan for future emergencies. Usually, after a disaster occurs, communities take steps to recover from the emergency and rebuild. An LHMP is a way for the City to become more prepared in advance of these disasters, so when they do occur, less damage occurs and recovery is easier. Our community can use LHMP strategies to reduce instances of property damage, injury, and loss of life from disasters. Besides protecting public health and safety, this approach can save money. Studies estimate that every dollar spent on mitigation saves an average of four dollars on response and recovery costs. An LHMP can also help to strengthen the mission of public safety officers, such as police and fire department staff, providing them with clear roles and responsibilities to build a safer community.

Besides helping to protect Seal Beach, our LHMP will make the City eligible for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that can be used to further improve safety and preparedness in the community. Having an adopted LHMP can also make Seal Beach eligible to receive more financial assistance from the State when disasters do occur.

The city of Seal Beach LHMP includes:

A summary of the natural and human-caused hazards that pose a risk to our community. This will include descriptions of past disaster events and the chances of these disasters occurring in the future.

An assessment of the threat to Seal Beach, which will describe how our community is vulnerable to future disasters.

The plan will look at the threat to important buildings and infrastructure, such as police and fire stations, hospitals, roads, and utility lines. It will also look at the threat to community members, particularly disadvantaged persons.

A hazard mitigation strategy, which will lay out specific policy recommendations for Seal Beach to carry out over the next five years. These recommendations will help reduce the threat that our community faces from hazard events.

A section on maintaining the plan, which will help ensure that our LHMP is kept up-to-date. This will make it easier for us to continue to proactively protect ourselves, and will also keep the City eligible for additional funding.

The city plans to include the following natural hazards in our LHMP:

  • Flooding and Coastline Disturbances;
  • Earthquakes and Liquefaction;
  • Tsunamis;
  • Wildfire; and
  • Tornadoes, Waterspouts, and Wind Events

Our LHMP will also look at how climate change may affect these hazards and may include other hazards that pose a threat to our community.

The City has assembled a Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC), which includes representatives from public safety officials and City departments, and will guide the overall development of our LHMP. The HMPC is supported by key stakeholders, and technical consultants. Together, these participants form the project team responsible for preparing our plan.

The project team plans to release a first draft of the Seal Beach LHMP for public review in Fall 2018. After members of the public provide comments and feedback, the project team will revise the plan, and send it to state and federal agencies for review and approval. Once approved by state and federal agencies, the Seal Beach City Council will approve the final LHMP. We hope to have the plan ready for adoption in the early 2019, but it may be later depending how long state and federal review takes.

You can get involved in preparing our LHMP in different ways.

The project team will hold public meetings to share information about our LHMP and obtain community feedback. The first of these meetings is scheduled for:

Community Outreach Meeting #1 – May 30th 2018, Seal Beach Council Chambers, 6 to 8 p.m.
Community Outreach Meeting #2 – June 27th 2018, Leisure World Clubhouse #4, 6 to 8 p.m.
Community Outreach Meeting #3 – September 5th 2018, Marina Community Center, 6 to 8 p.m.

The city has an online survey available to members of the public asking for information about past experience with natural hazards and how our LHMP can be the most useful. Take the survey, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Go to the City of Seal Beach website and click on the hazard mitigation tab.