Kyle Hankins| Lariat
On Dec. 7, the South Orange County Community College District held a public meeting to present the interest of their draft for the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan for the District. The purpose of the LHMP is to identify actions/projects that will help reduce and/or eliminate the loss of life and property from the impact of hazards in the community.
The LHMP assesses hazard vulnerabilities and identifies mitigation actions that jurisdictions will pursue in order to reduce the level of injury, property damage and community disruption that might otherwise result from such events.
“It is intended to identify any kind of steps you can take for a project that would help reduce or completely eliminate the loss of life or damage to property from any kind of hazard that’s in the communities,” says Sara Sperazza, district workers’ compensation and safety manager for SOCCCD. “The plan will have what kind of hazards have occurred or could potentially occur in this area where the district is and our two main campuses.”
Under the Fema Hazard Mitigation Grant, which is operated by the California Government Office of Emergency Services, the district requested the funds to develop this plan because of something that was not in place.
“We were rewarded funds to do so, so we developed a task force and we have been working for the past year and a half to develop this huge plan that is district wide,” Sperazza said. “Our grant goes through December 2022, so the goal is to make sure the plan is complete and approved and adopted before the end of next year.”
The district is trying to show that safety is its top priority and wants to make sure that we are very prepared and be aware of our capabilities if something were to occur and how they could help the people in the community. This would help them figure out what projects would help with any damages done.
“What was nice to find was that a lot of the projects that we had identified, colleges had already identified either through their assessment of the buildings or a ADA Compliance Check,” Sperazza said. “We are hoping that the outcome of this would mean more funding through the federal government for this project so we can keep improving our campuses.”
The plan itself is reviewed every five years to make sure that the plan is in compliance, but will most likely be updated earlier than that date around every other year.
“We just want to make sure that it reflects the most current information as possible,” Sperazza said. “For it to remain in compliance you have to update it every five years.”
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Risk Management at [email protected].
Updated Dec. 20 at 4:48 p.m. too fix minor style errors