Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
Tragedies in the past year in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico and northern California have reminded us that disaster can strike at any time, sometimes with little or no warning. The Lehigh Valley is vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards such as flooding, tornadoes and sinkholes, and a growing number of man-made hazards that include hazardous materials, traffic accidents and building collapse. Hazard Mitigation planning can lessen the impact of such events by using a proactive approach of assessing the risk and then identifying actions to create safe, more disaster-resilient communities.
The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, partnering with Lehigh and Northampton counties, has begun the yearlong process to update the region’s hazard mitigation plan, last updated in 2013. A community must have a Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved mitigation plan in place to be eligible for federal funding for hazard mitigation activities. To maintain funding eligibility, the hazard mitigation plan must be updated every five years. Drafting a new plan will require the cooperation of the LVPC, both counties and all 62 municipalities, as well as the input from stakeholders and residents.
RESOURCES + REFERENCES
- LVPC Newsletter - LVPC Preparing the Lehigh Valley for Disasters (September 2017)
- Lehigh Valley Business Article - Can Catastrophic Flooding Occur Here? (lvb.com October 16, 2017)
Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan Update- April 2013
This plan is an update to the 2006 Hazard Mitigation Plan. The focus of this update is to reexamine the region’s risks from natural hazards, identify the risks from man-made hazards and to identify actions to reduce or eliminate these risks.
Previous Hazard Mitigation Plans
Hazard Mitigation Plan Lehigh Valley, PA - Annual Report 2008
The Hazard Mitigation Plan Lehigh Valley, PA provides for continuous monitoring, evaluating, and updating on annual and five year cycles to ensure the plan remains an active and relevant document. This report serves as the first annual report since FEMA approval of the plan in 2007. The purpose of the annual report is to monitor the progress of the actions and projects listed in the plan, to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan, and to update data, mapping and analyses if new information is available.
Hazard Mitigation Plan Lehigh Valley, PA - July 2006
Natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. A disaster can come in many forms including floods, earthquakes, winter storms and tornadoes, among others. The result of these disasters has been the loss of homes, property, communities, jobs, and in some cases, lives. According to the National Weather Service, the average annual number of fatalities in the United States due to severe weather between 1994 and 2003 was 514. Severe weather includes floods, tornadoes, lightning, hurricanes, heat, cold and winter storms. The average annual severe weather damage costs over the same time period were approximately $12 billion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that 90% of all natural disasters in the United States involve flooding and about 100 people on average are killed each year by flooding. The focus of this report is on reducing damage from a natural disaster in the Lehigh Valley.
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