Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan
The purpose of natural hazards mitigation is to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards. Grand County and participating jurisdictions first developed this multi-hazard mitigation plan in 2008 to reduce future losses to the County and its communities resulting from natural hazards. The plan was updated in 2013 (submitted 2015) in accordance with the requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and to maintain eligibility for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance, Pre-Disaster Mitigation, Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs. Since the original development of this plan, FEMA guidance for local hazard mitigation plans has been refined and updated. This plan was updated in 2020 to be consistent with the new FEMA guidance and with Grand County’s current hazard mitigation priorities and risks.
The Grand County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan update is a multi-jurisdictional plan that covers the following local governments and special districts:
- Grand County
- Town of Fraser
- Town of Granby
- Town of Grand Lake
- Town of Hot Sulphur Springs
- Town of Kremmling
- Town of Winter Park
- Fire Protection Districts: Grand Fire Protection District, East Grand Fire Protection District, Grand Lake Fire Protection District, Kremmling Fire Department, and Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Protection District
- Denver Water
- Northern Water
The County’s planning process followed a methodology prescribed by FEMA, which began with the reconvening of the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC) comprised of key stakeholders from Grand County, participating jurisdictions, neighboring counties and stakeholders, and state and federal agencies. The HMPC conducted an updated risk assessment that identified and profiled hazards that pose a risk to Grand County, assessed the County’s vulnerability to these hazards, and examined the capabilities in place to mitigate them. New methodologies were used where possible to provide a more thorough risk and vulnerability assessment. The County is vulnerable to several hazards that are identified, profiled, and analyzed in this plan. Wildfires, severe winter weather, and avalanches are among the hazards that can have a significant impact on the County.
Based upon the risk assessment, the HMPC revisited the goals and objectives identified in 2008 for reducing risk to hazards. The goals and objectives of this multi-hazard mitigation plan are to:
Goal 1: Reduce the loss of life and personal injuries from hazardous events
- Enhance life safety for residents and responders Improve public education and awareness of all hazards
- Improve emergency response and early notification capabilities for all hazards within the County
- Reduce the potential impact to the County and participating jurisdictions from transported hazardous materials
- Identify and characterize facilities and companies that regularly receive or transport hazardous materials
- Reduce disease outbreak occurrences and severity
- Minimize the impact of winter storms on Grand County and participating jurisdictions within the County
- Enhance community policies and procedures to reduce wildfire impact Reduce rockslide occurrences and impact potential on human life
Goal 2: Reduce the impacts of hazards on property and the environment
- Enhance community policies and regulations as measures to reduce property impacts Continue to support development and implementation of Community Wildfire Protection Planning
- Develop and implement fuel-reduction projects
- Mitigate undesirable fire outcomes to residential and commercial property
- Mitigate undesirable fire outcomes to the environment, watersheds, and quality of life Improve identification and characterization of landslide hazards
Goal 3: Protect critical facilities and infrastructure from the impacts of hazards
- Minimize disruption to critical services from hazard events Identify and reduce the wildfire threat to critical infrastructure
- Improve physical mitigation actions for high-risk landslide hazard areas
Goal 4: Minimize economic losses
- Reduce financial exposure and disaster expenditures of county/municipal governments and special districts
- Strengthen disaster resistance and resiliency of businesses and employers Speed recovery and redevelopment following future disaster events Support future grant requests for pre- and post-disaster initiatives
Climate change and pressure from population growth will challenge Grand County’s economy. Changes in global climate patterns show Colorado faces more frequent and intense hazards. These drivers warn of increased vulnerabilities, economic disruption, and loss of life and ecosystem services.
To take an in-depth look at potential future economic impacts of flood, drought, and wildfire on specific sectors of Grand County’s economy, Future Avoided Cost Explorer (FACE) was used. Through the FACE dashboard, Grand County OEM was able to explore how drought, flood, and wildfire may cause economic damages under a low- or high-impact future, using a variety of climate and population scenarios.
To meet identified goals and objectives, the plan recommends the mitigation actions summarized in Chapter 4 of this plan and in the jurisdictional annexes. The list of action items from 2015 was reviewed by the HMPC. Committee members noted which actions were completed, deleted, or ongoing and provided reasons why these decisions were made. County entities also developed new actions which are included in Chapter 4 and the jurisdictional annexes. Each action item describes a plan, priority level, background information, ideas for implementation, responsible agency, timeline, cost estimate, and potential funding sources.
This hazard mitigation plan will be formally adopted by the Grand County Board of County Commissioners and the governing bodies of each participating municipality.
The next Plan update will be in 2025.