The Plan Maintenance section of this document details the formal process that will ensure that the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan remains an active and relevant document. The plan maintenance process includes a schedule for monitoring and evaluating the Plan annually and producing a plan revision every five years. This section describes how the City will integrate public participation throughout the plan maintenance process. Finally, this section includes an explanation of how City of West Covina government intends to incorporate the mitigation strategies outlined in this Plan into existing planning mechanisms such as the City General Plan, Capital Improvement Plans, and Building and Safety Codes.
Monitoring and Implementing the Plan
The City Council will be responsible for adopting the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. This governing body has the authority to promote sound public policy regarding natural hazards. Once the plan has been adopted, the City Emergency Manager will be responsible for submitting it to the State Hazard Mitigation Officer at The Governor's Office of Emergency Services. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services will then submit the plan to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review. This review will address the federal criteria outlined in FEMA Interim Final Rule 44 CFR Part 201. Upon acceptance by FEMA, City of West Covina will gain eligibility for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds.
A City of West Covina Hazard Mitigation Committee will be responsible for coordinating implementation of plan action items and undertaking the formal review process. The City Manager will assign representatives from city agencies, including, but not limited to, the current Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee members. The City has formed a Hazard Mitigation Committee that consists of members from local agencies, organizations, and citizens, and includes the following:
City of West Covina Community Development Commission
City of West Covina Communications Department
City of West Covina Community Services Department
City of West Covina Emergency Services
City of West Covina Environmental Management
City of West Covina Finance
City of West Covina Fire Department
City of West Covina Information Services
City of West Covina Planning Department
City of West Covina Police Department
City of West Covina Public Works Department
City of West Covina Office of the City Attorney
City of West Covina Risk Management
In order to make this committee as broad and useful as possible, the City Administrator will engage other relevant organizations and agencies in hazard mitigation. The recommendations for adding to the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee include:
An elected official
A representative from the Chamber of Commerce
An insurance company representative
Community Planning Organization representatives
A representative from the City Manager/Administrator's office
Representation from a professional organization such as the Home Builders Association
The Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will meet no less than annually. Meeting dates will be scheduled once the final Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee has been established. These meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss the progress of the action items and maintain the partnerships that are essential for the sustainability of the mitigation plan.
The City Council will adopt the City of West Covina Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, and the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will take responsibility for plan implementation. The City Manager will serve as a convener to facilitate the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee meetings, and will assign tasks such as updating and presenting the Plan to the members of the committee. Plan implementation and evaluation will be a shared responsibility among all of the Natural Hazard Advisory Committee Members.
Implementation through Existing Programs
City of West Covina addresses statewide planning goals and legislative requirements through its General Plan, Capital Improvement Plans, and City Building and Safety Codes. The Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan provides a series of recommendations - many of which are closely related to the goals and objectives of existing planning programs. The City of West Covina will have the opportunity to implement recommended mitigation action items through existing programs and procedures.
The City of West Covina Building & Engineering Department is responsible for administering the Building & Safety Codes. In addition, the Hazard Advisory Committee will work with other agencies at the state level to review, develop and ensure Building & Safety Codes that are adequate to mitigate or prevent damage by natural hazards. This is to ensure that life-safety criteria are met for new construction.
The goals and action items in the mitigation plan may be achieved through activities recommended in the city's Capital Improvement Plans (CIP). Various city departments develop CIP plans, and review them on an annual basis. Upon annual review of the CIPs, the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will work with the city departments to identify areas that the hazard mitigation plan action items are consistent with CIP planning goals and integrate them where appropriate.
Within six months of formal adoption of the mitigation plan, the recommendations listed above will be incorporated into the process of existing planning mechanisms at the city level. The meetings of the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will provide an opportunity for committee members to report back on the progress made on the integration of mitigation planning elements into city planning documents and procedures.
Economic Analysis of Mitigation Projects
FEMA's approaches to identify the costs and benefits associated with natural hazard mitigation strategies, measures, or projects fall into two general categories: benefit/cost analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis.
Conducting benefit/cost analysis for a mitigation activity can assist communities in determining whether a project is worth undertaking now, in order to avoid disaster-related damages later.
Cost-effectiveness analysis evaluates how best to spend a given amount of money to achieve a specific goal. Determining the economic feasibility of mitigating natural hazards can provide decision-makers with an understanding of the potential benefits and costs of an activity, as well as a basis upon which to compare alternative projects.
Given federal funding, the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will use a FEMA-approved benefit/cost analysis approach to identify and prioritize mitigation action items. For other projects and funding sources, the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will use other approaches to understand the costs and benefits of each action item and develop a prioritized list. For more information regarding economic analysis of mitigation action items, please see Appendix C of the Plan.
Evaluating and Updating the Plan
Formal Review Process
The City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan will be evaluated on an annual basis to determine the effectiveness of programs, and to reflect changes in land development or programs that may affect mitigation priorities. The evaluation process includes a firm schedule and time line, and identifies the local agencies and organizations participating in plan evaluation. The convener or designee will be responsible for contacting the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee members and organizing the annual meeting.
Committee members will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the progress of the mitigation strategies in the Plan.
The committee will review the goals and action items to determine their relevance to changing situations in the city, as well as changes in State or Federal policy, and to ensure they are addressing current and expected conditions. The committee will also review the risk assessment portion of the Plan to determine if this information should be updated or modified, given any new available data. The coordinating organizations responsible for the various action items will report on the status of their projects, the success of various implementation processes, difficulties encountered, success of coordination efforts, and which strategies should be revised.
The convener will assign the duty of updating the plan to one or more of the committee members. The designated committee members will have three months to make appropriate changes to the Plan before submitting it to the Hazard Committee members, and presenting it to the City Council (or other authority). The Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will also notify all holders of the city plan when changes have been made. Every five years the updated plan will be submitted to the State Hazard Mitigation Officer and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for review.
Continued Public Involvement
City of West Covina is dedicated to involving the public directly in review and updates of the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Hazard Mitigation Committee members are responsible for the annual review and update of the plan.
The public will also have the opportunity to provide feedback about the Plan. Copies of the Plan will be catalogued and kept at all of the appropriate agencies in the city. The existence and location of these copies will be publicized in the city newspaper "Discover West Covina", which reaches every household in the city. The plan also includes the address and the phone number of the city Planning Division, responsible for keeping track of public comments on the Plan.
In addition, copies of the plan and any proposed changes will be posted on the city website. This site will also contain an email address and phone number to which people can direct their comments and concerns.
A public meeting will also be held after each annual evaluation or when deemed necessary by the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee. The meetings will provide the public a forum for which they can express its concerns, opinions, or ideas about the Plan. The Committee will be responsible for using city resources to publicize the annual public meetings and maintain public involvement through the public access channel, web page, and newspapers.