Anacortes has joined Skagit County in its adoption of a countywide hazard mitigation plan to prepare for natural disasters, the City Council voted Monday night.
The multijurisdiction plan details the county’s response to natural disasters and other hazards that might affect the region. Anacortes Fire Chief David Oliveri presented the updated plan to the council and said it served two main purposes at the county level.
The first is to have a formalized plan ready for a disaster to help guide the city’s response. The second is to secure funding through state and federal agencies.
“Without a hazard mitigation plan in place, we would not have access to those grants,” Oliveri said. After soliciting community input, the plan was sent to the FEMA and SEMA agencies for review where it was approved and just needed approval from local jurisdictions to go into effect, he said.
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires local governments to have plans in place to receive hazard grant funding. While the plan is focused on natural hazard, such as tsunamis and wildfires, rather than manmade hazards, Council member Ryan Walters pointed out that any mandmade hazard resulting from a natural hazard would be covered under the plan.
“An earthquake that causes a car crash is a natural hazard, even though it involves an artificial component,” he said.