While we can't always predict a disaster there are somethings we can do to help lessen their effects and in some cases, prevent them altogether. These tactics and plans are commonly referred to as hazard mitigation plans. The City of Santa Cruz creates mitigation strategies that endeavor to preserve the diverstiy and quality the natural and built environments.
In creating hazard mitigation plans many things are taken into account including cost, efficacy, disruption to citizens, environmental impact and the probabality of the hazard actually occurring. Some hazard mitigation strategies occur daily, like educating the community about emergency preparedness, while others are part of a specifc project that is completed once, like structural improvements to a public building, to better withstand an earthquake.
Some of Santa Cruz' current, highest priority mitigation plans include:
Increasing efforts to reduce fire risk in wildland/urban interface; particularly steep canyons and arroyos through improved vegetation management and appropriate code enforcement.
Requiring upgrade of sewer, water and other infrastructure to withstand seismic shaking and differential settlement.
Protecting water system infrasturcture and reservoirs from landslides and other failure through water system landslide monitoring and stabilization.
Protecting and preserving the coastline and infrastructure through coastal restoration efforts.
Regulating development in floodplains and increasing public awareness of flood hazards.
Read the recently FEMA approved City Santa Cruz Local Hazard Mitigation Plan