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Tell emergency services where hazards lurk in Ojai Valley: Survey and July 14 meeting set

web OESGrant Phillips, Ojai Valley News Reporter

See something, say something! Wildfires, drought, earthquakes and extreme weather are just some of the hazards the Ventura County Office of Emergency Services is hoping to address in its updated Hazard Mitigation plan.

The Office of Emergency Services is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update its plan every five years to continue to be eligible for federal funding.

To prevent this from becoming a check-the-box, status-quo document, information is needed now to help those putting out fires, pulling people from raging rivers, containing industrial-center explosions, and more. With boots-on-the-ground information from residents, our lives and the lives of our neighbors may depend on informing emergency responders about dangerous conditions we see.

— To view the plan, the survey and meeting log-in details, go to www.readyventuracounty.org and click on the “emergency plans” tab for more details on how to participate.

— The confidential community survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/G7T7W5R 

— The public is also encouraged to review the minutes of previous public online meetings about the plan by logging in to: www.readyventuracounty.org, clicking on the "Emergency Plan" tab and then the "Hazard Mitigation Plan."

“This plan is all about going through an analysis of understanding community awareness — assessing if anything has changed … then doing a risk analysis and ranking,” said Bonnie Luke, emergency manager at the Office of Emergency Services. 

In the 2015 Hazard Plan, Ojai was noted for having several conditions including earthquakes, wildfires, liquefaction, dam failure, and flooding. These hazards resulted in nine federal grants and several plans of action including: seismically retrofitting facilities, relocating residential structures that fell within the 100-year floodplain and developing a hazard fuel treatment program for areas with excessive brush for fire resistance. 

The goal of the Mitigation Plan is to inventory hazards in Ventura County and assess the risks and vulnerabilities to community members, structures and other critical facilities. 

“Right now, we’re still in the data collection and risk analysis phase,” said Luke. “We’re hoping to roll that out for the planning partners and the steering committee’s review and then the public to inform everybody of the results.”

Other listed hazards in the plan include: agricultural/biological events, coastal erosion from sea-level rise, dam and levee failures, flooding, landslides and tsunamis.

The Office of Emergency Services is overseen by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, which is asking the community to take part in the mitigation effort.

For more information, contact Luke at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Additional information including a timeline of the plan can be found at www.readyventuracounty.org.

To view the 2015 Hazard Mitigation Plan, visit: http://www.vcfloodinfo.com/pdf/Ventura%20County%20HMP_031411.pdf

 

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