Like so many other locations across the country, it’s time for San Juan County, New Mexico, to update its Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). HMPs, as planners well know, have to be updated and approved by FEMA every five years. That is, if their county, city, or state is to remain eligible to receive certain types of pre-disaster, or mitigation, funding.

Knowing that the process of updating an HMP can be time-consuming, if not daunting, San Juan County looked for outside help and planning expertise. They chose long-time partner, BOLDplanning. The County has used the platform for the development and maintenance of its Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for years.

To kick things off for the HMP update, BOLDplanning representative, Brittney Whatley, CBCP, met with plan participants on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. Among those in attendance were folks from San Juan County, and the participating jurisdictions of the City of Aztec, the City of Bloomfield, the City of Farmington, and the Town of Kirtland. The next meeting (a mitigation planning team meeting) will take place in October or November 2019.

HMPs, as expressed by FEMA, are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. In fact, the National Institute of Building Sciences now estimates that for every dollar invested in mitigation saves six dollars in prevented damages (up from four dollars in previous years). With an updated, FEMA-approved HMP, San Juan County should be better prepared for the hazards, natural and human-caused, it’s known to face.