Comments sought on campus natural hazard mitigation plan

Building collapse in Northridge, California, in the 1994 earthquake

The University of Oregon is updating its plan for reducing risks from natural hazards and is looking for input from the campus community.

Eugene-Springfield’s Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan follows a federal government model to identify natural hazards in the area and creates responses that protect or mitigate harm to people and property. The UO is adding an annex to the regional plan to identify projects that will reduce the harm from future natural disasters on campus.

The annex spells out the university’s unique characteristics, vulnerability and risk to various natural hazards, and action items that will reduce the campus’s exposure. To make sure the campus community’s needs are addressed, UO emergency managers are looking for input.

“We want to know what hazards and action items are especially important to community members, so this can be reflected in the plans and efforts made by university staff,” said Krista Dillon, operations director for Safety and Risk Services,. “We want to go beyond the list of concerns and solutions from our emergency planners.”

UO community members can provide ideas in a short online survey.

Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans are designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help communities identify their vulnerabilities to natural hazards and create manageable actions to reduce their vulnerability. FEMA supports communities that participate in the process through grants and funding for projects before and after a disaster event happens.

By identifying vulnerabilities before a disaster strikes, a community is able to potentially lessen its effects and are better equipped to handle the response to and recovery from its effects. These plans are important tools used by emergency managers, planners and administrators to improve the resiliency of a community.