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Executive Summary

Five-Year Action Plan Matrix

The City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Action Plan (NHMP) includes resources and information to assist City residents, public and private sector organizations, and others interested in participating in planning for natural hazards. The mitigation plan provides a list of activities that may assist the City of West Covina in reducing risk and preventing loss from future natural hazard events. The action items address multi-hazard issues, as well as activities for earthquakes, earth movements, flooding, wildfires and windstorms.

How is the Plan Organized?

The Mitigation Plan contains a five-year action plan matrix, background on the purpose and methodology used to develop the mitigation plan, a profile of City of West Covina, sections on five natural hazards that occur within the City, and a number of appendices. All of the sections are described in detail in Section 1, the plan introduction.

Who Participated in Developing the Plan?

The City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Action Plan is the result of a collaborative effort between City of West Covina citizens, public agencies, non-profit organizations, the private sector, and regional and state organizations. Public participation played a key role in development of goals and action items. Interviews were conducted with stakeholders across the City, and two public workshops were held to include City of West Covina residents in plan development. A project Steering Committee guided the process of developing the plan.

The Steering Committee was comprised of representatives from:

City of West Covina Community Development Commission
City of West Covina Communications Department
City of West Covina Community Services
City of West Covina Emergency Services
City of West Covina Environmental Management
City of West Covina Finance Department
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 Clerk
City of West Covina Office of the City Attorney
City of West Covina Reprographics
City of West Covina Risk Management
Office of Disaster Management, Area D
Covina Valley Unified School District

State Division of Mines and Geology
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Southern California Association of Governments
Governor's Office of Emergency Services

What is the Plan Mission?

The mission of the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan is to promote sound public policy designed to protect life, property, and the environment from natural hazards. This will be achieved by increasing public awareness, documenting the resources for risk reduction and loss-prevention, and identifying goals to guide the City towards building a safe and sustainable Community.

What are the Plan Goals?

The plan goals describe the overall direction that City of West Covina agencies, organizations, and citizens can take to work toward mitigating risk from natural hazards. The goals are stepping-stones between the broad direction of the mission statement and the specific recommendations outlined in the following action items;

Protect Life and Property
  • Implement activities that assist in protecting lives by making homes, businesses, infrastructure, critical facilities, and other properties more resistant to losses from natural hazards.
  • Reduce losses and repetitive damages for chronic hazard events while promoting insurance coverage for catastrophic hazards.
  • Improve hazard assessment information to make recommendations for discouraging new development in high hazard areas and encouraging preventative measures for existing development in areas vulnerable to natural hazards.

Public Awareness
  • Conduct public meetings to educate the community and allow for public input and participation in developing and maintaining a hazard mitigation plan.
  • Develop and implement education and outreach programs to increase public awareness of the risks associated with natural hazards.
  • Provide information on public outreach tools, partnership opportunities, and funding resources to assist in implementing mitigation activities.

Natural Systems
  • Balance natural resource management, and land use planning with natural hazard mitigation to protect life, property, and the environment.
  • Preserve, rehabilitate, and enhance natural systems to serve as natural hazard mitigation functions.

Partnerships and Implementation
  • Strengthen communication and coordinate participation among and within public agencies, citizens, non-profit organizations, business, and industry to gain a vested interest in implementation.
  • Encourage leadership within public and private sector organizations to prioritize and implement local and regional hazard mitigation activities.

Emergency Services
  • Establish policy to ensure mitigation projects for critical facilities, services, and infrastructure.
  • Strengthen emergency operations by increasing collaboration and coordination among public agencies, non-profit organizations, business, and industry.
  • Coordinate and integrate natural hazard mitigation activities, where appropriate, with emergency operations plans and procedures.

How are the Action Items Organized?

The action items are a listing of activities in which the City, public and private agencies, and citizens can engage to reduce risk. Each action item includes an estimate of the time line for implementation. Short-term action items are activities that the City may implement with existing resources and authorities within one-to-two years. Long-term action items may require new or additional resources or authorities, and may take between one and five years (or more) to implement.

The action items are organized within the following matrix, which lists all of the multi-hazard and hazard-specific action items included in the mitigation plan. Data collection and research and the public participation process resulted in the development of these action items (see Appendix B). The matrix includes the following information for each action item:

Coordinating Organization. The coordinating organization is the public agency with regulatory responsibility to address natural hazards, or that is willing and able to organize resources, find appropriate funding, or oversee activity implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Coordinating organizations may include local, county, or regional agencies that are capable of or responsible for implementing activities and programs.

Time line. Action items include both short and long-term activities. Each action item includes an estimate of the time line for implementation. Short-term action items are activities which the City is capable of implementing with existing resources and authorities within one-to-two years. Long-term action items may require new or additional resources or authorities, and may take between one and five years (or more) to implement.

Ideas for Implementation. Each action item includes ideas for implementation and potential resources, which may include grant programs or human resources. The matrix includes the page number within the mitigation plan where this information can be found.

Plan Goals Addressed. The plan goals addressed by each action item are included as a way to monitor and evaluate how well the mitigation plan is achieving its goals once implementation begins. The plan goals are organized into the following five areas:
  • Protect Life and Property
  • Public Awareness
  • Natural Systems
  • Partnerships and Implementation
  • Emergency Services

Partner Organizations. The partner organizations are not listed with the individual action items or in the plan matrix. Partner organizations are listed in Appendix A of this plan' and are agencies or public/private sector organizations that may be able to assist in the implementation of action items by providing relevant resources to the coordinating organization. The partner organizations listed in the Resource Directory of the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan are potential partners recommended by the project steering committee, but were not necessarily contacted during the development of the Mitigation Plan. Partner organizations should be contacted by the coordinating organization to establish commitment of time and resources to action items. Constraints. Constraints may apply to some of the action items. These constraints may be a lack of city staff, lack of funds, or vested property rights which might expose the City to legal action as a result of adverse impacts on private property.


How Will the Plan be Implemented, Monitored, and Evaluated?

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's General Plan, Capital Improvement Plans, and Building & Safety Codes.

Plan Adoption

Adoption of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan by the local jurisdiction's governing body is one of the prime requirements for approval of the plan. Once the plan is completed, the City Council will be responsible for adopting the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. The local agency governing body has the responsibility and authority to promote sound public policy regarding natural hazards. The City Council will periodically need to re-adopt the plan as it is revised to meet changes in the natural hazard risks and exposures in the community. The approved Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan will be significant in the future growth and development of the community.

Coordinating Body

A City of West Covina Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee will be responsible for coordinating implementation of Plan action items and undertaking the formal review process. The West Covina City Council will assign representatives from City agencies, including, but not limited to, the current Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee members.

Convener

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 or his/her designee 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 & Safety Codes. The Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan provides a series of recommendations that are closely related to the goals and objectives of these existing planning programs. City of West Covina will have the opportunity to implement recommended mitigation action items through existing programs and procedures.

Economic Analysis of Mitigation Projects

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's approach to identify costs and benefits associated with natural hazard mitigation strategies 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.

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 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.

Continued Public Involvement

City of West Covina is dedicated to involving the public directly in the continual review and updates of the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Copies of the plan will be catalogued and made available at the City Clerk's Office at West Covina City Hall and at the Los Angeles County Public Library - West Covina Branch. The existence and location of these copies will be publicized in Discover West Covina, the quarterly newspaper delivered to every residence in West Covina. The plan also includes the address and the phone number of the City Planning Department, which is 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 (www.westcovina.org). This site will also contain an email address and phone number to which people can direct their comments and concerns.

GOAL SUMMARY

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD # l: Integrate the goals and action items from the City of West Covina Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan into existing regulatory documents and programs, where appropriate.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #2: Identify and pursue funding opportunities to develop and implement local and city mitigation activities.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #3: Establish a formal role for the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Committee to develop a sustainable process for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating citywide mitigation activities.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #4: Facilitate traffic movement through and around the City of West Covina during times of Disaster.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #5: Identify, improve, and sustain collaborative programs focusing on the real estate and insurance industries, public and private sector organizations, and individuals to avoid activity that increases risk to natural hazards.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #6: Develop public and private partnerships to foster natural hazard mitigation program coordination and collaboration in City of West Covina.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #7: Use technical knowledge of natural ecosystems and events to link natural resource management and land use organizations to mitigation activities and technical assistance.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #8: Develop inventories of at-risk buildings and infrastructure and prioritize mitigation projects.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #l: Strengthen emergency services preparedness and response by linking emergency services with natural hazard mitigation programs, and enhancing public education on a local and regional scale.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #2: Mitigate loss of Public Safety (Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical) radio and data communications Network and Communications Control/Dispatching Center from earthquake, high winds, and violent storms.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #3: Develop, enhance, and implement education programs aimed at mitigating natural hazards, and reducing the risk to citizens, public agencies, private property owners, businesses, and schools.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD # 4:Work with the public on streamlining the approval process through other agencies (i.e. CEQA, AQMD, Fire Department, etc.) for the reconstruction of commercial structures on private property.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #5: Provide information to the public for the reconstruction of non-conforming structures in the event of a Natural disaster in compliance with Section 26-186 of the City of West Covina Municipal Code. Additionally provide information in regards to the documents and plans that would be needed to process applications.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - MULTI HAZARD #6: Reduce loss of life and property from natural hazards such as flooding, high winds, violent storms, and earthquakes

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - EARTHQUAKE # l: Integrate new earthquake hazard mapping data for the City of West Covina and improve technical analysis of earthquake hazards.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - EARTHQUAKE # 2: Incorporate the Regional Earthquake Transportation Evacuation Routes developed by the Regional Emergency Managers Group into appropriate planning documents.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - EARTHQUAKE # l: Identify funding sources for structural and nonstructural retrofitting of structures that are identified as seismically vulnerable.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - EARTHQUAKE # 2: Encourage seismic strength evaluations of critical facilities in the City of West Covina to identify vulnerabilities for mitigation of schools, public infrastructure, and critical facilities to meet current seismic standards.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - EARTHQUAKE # 3: Encourage reduction of nonstructural and structural earthquake hazards in homes, schools, businesses, and government offices.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - LANDSLIDE #1: Improve knowledge of landslide and earth movement hazard areas and understanding of vulnerabilities and risk to life and property in hazard prone areas.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - LANDSLIDE #1: Review local ordinances regarding building and development in areas prone to earth movement.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - FLOODING #1: Mitigate flooding at Azusa and Amar Road.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - FLOODING #2: Recommend revisions to requirements for development within the floodplain, where appropriate

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - FLOODING #3: Target flooding mitigation information to the public.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - WILDFIRE #1: Enhance emergency services to increase the efficiency of wildfire response and recovery activities.

SHORT TERM ACTIVITY - WILDFIRE #2: Educate agency personnel on federal cost-share and grant programs, Fire Protection Agreements and other related federal programs so the full array of assistance available to local agencies is understood.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WILDFIRE #1: Encourage development and dissemination of maps relating to the fire hazard to help educate and assist builders and homeowners in being engaged in wildfire mitigation activities and to help guide emergency services during response.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WILDFIRE #2: Enhance outreach and education programs aimed at mitigating wildfire hazards and reducing or preventing the exposure of citizens, public agencies, private property owners and businesses to natural hazards.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WIND #1: Underground utilities on Azusa Avenue from Aroma Drive to Amar Road. Relocate overhead utilities to conduits placed underground along Amar Road from Azusa Avenue to Temple Avenue.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WIND #2: Reduce tree damage from storms throughout the City.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WIND #3: Public Awareness Campaign: To provide public education materials to City of West Covina residents and all School District staff, parents and age-appropriate students with mitigation materials pertaining to the protection of life and property before, during, and after a windstorm.

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WIND #4: Create local City and utility awareness of tree pruning and Fire Code Sections relevant to wind-resistant utility operations

LONG TERM ACTIVITY - WIND #5: Encourage Critical City Facilities to purchase and/or test backup power facilities for use during a power failure. Create a equipment/testing log to ensure backup power equipment is in working service.

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