San Luis Valley completes Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The northern San Luis Valley in summer (photo by Joe Stone).

The San Luis Valley Region and its six participating counties–Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache–are in the final stages of updating their Hazard Mitigation Plans.

A Hazard Mitigation Plan analyzes vulnerabilities to natural hazards and identifies mitigation actions that can be taken to minimize property damage and public safety risks.

An up-to-date Hazard Mitigation Plan is required under the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 to be eligible to receive certain federal disaster assistance and grants for hazard mitigation projects. These plans must be updated every 5 years. The updated plan sets priorities for mitigation projects in the San Luis Valley region for the time period of 2023-2028.

The planning process began in February 2022. It has resulted in an update to each county’s existing Hazard Mitigation Plan into one cohesive, regional plan. This update combines the six county Hazard Mitigation Plans drafted independently in 2017 & 2018 into one unified region-wide plan. 

The process followed a methodology that adheres to federal guidance. It consisted of two levels of planning teams; a coordinating Planning Team made up of the County Emergency Manager Coordinators, and six County Planning Teams consisting of local government representatives – one for each county. Every municipality within each county was invited to participate.

A virtual public workshop was held on January 4th, 2023, to introduce the updated plan and mitigation strategies. Following the workshop and public comment period, the plan was then submitted to both the State of Colorado and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their review and approval.

The Saguache Board of County Commissioners will adopt the updated Hazard Mitigation Plan on March 21, 2023.

The updated Hazard Mitigation Plan can be read here:

Terry West
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