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Natural hazards survey gauges citizen feelings of vulnerability

Oct. 1 is deadline to answer questions online and aid emergency plan

Have you ever been personally affected by a flood, wildfire or other natural hazard? Do you feel vulnerable to any such hazards right now? And which hazards should Washington County officials prioritize in its efforts to reduce the impact of natural disasters?

If you live or work in Washington County, you have seven days left to answer these and five other questions in a brief online survey to help identify natural hazards that pose the greatest threat to people, infrastructure and facilities.

A variety of agencies, including the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience; the Tualatin Valley Water District; Clean Water Services; Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue; and the cities of Hillsboro and Tigard, will use the survey’s responses to update the Washington County Natural Hazards Mitigation Action Plan.

The plan, which is targeted for completion and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approval by February 2016, was last updated and approved in February 2011. It must be updated every five years.

The plan update will focus on actions to reduce the severity of impact for six natural hazards: flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, severe weather, landslides and volcanic eruptions.

Components of the plan update include a hazards assessment, vulnerability analysis and a risk assessment. These details will assist Washington County emergency planners to understand the community’s needs.

The survey, which can be found online at surveymonkey.com/r/M2K5CS6, will remain open until Oct. 1.

“We hope everyone will take a few minutes to share their thoughts on where and how we should target our hazard mitigation efforts,” said Scott Porter, director of Washington County’s Emergency Management Cooperative.