2024 Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan

What is hazard mitigation planning? What is the purpose of having a hazard mitigation plan?

Hazard mitigation planning reduces loss of life and property by minimizing the impact of disasters. It begins with state, tribal, and local governments identifying natural disaster risks and vulnerabilities that are common in their area. After identifying these risks, they develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from similar events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction.

Background of the Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan, since its inception, has always been a bi-county plan encompassing both Lehigh and Northampton counties as well as the 62 municipalities found within. The Lehigh Valley drafted hazard mitigation plans in 2006, 2013, and 2018. Federal regulation requires that plans be updated every five years, but perhaps more importantly, the effects of climate and cultural changes and emerging hazards require that we evolve our methods of preparing for disaster.

 The Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan reflects that evolution.

 The 2024 Hazard Mitigation Plan covers the twenty-five (25) natural and non-natural hazards that were covered in the previous plan. However, two (2) new hazards have been added to combat changes in a region that continues to grow its population by more than five thousand (5,000) residents per year. The newly added hazards are: Gas/Liquid Pipelines and Cyber-Terrorism. Both new hazards can be found under the “non-natural” hazard list. See the the entire hazard list and their respective rankings within the Lehigh and Northampton County Annex.

Mitigation goals within this Plan

1. To minimize the risk to human life associated with natural and non-natural hazards.

2. To promote hazard avoidance, especially in floodplains.

3. To reduce the damages and functional loss from natural and non-natural hazards to existing and future public and private assets, including structures, critical facilities, and infrastructure.

4. To preserve and enhance the effectiveness of natural resources, including woodlands, streams, rivers, wetlands, floodplains, and riparian buffers to provide resiliency benefits.

5. To develop, prioritize, and implement cost-effective, long-term actions that will reduce the impacts of natural and non-natural hazards.

6. To improve local regulations to reduce the impacts of natural and non-natural hazards.

7. To enhance planning and emergency response efforts among federal, state, county, and local emergency management personnel to protect public health and safety.

8. To promote public awareness of both the potential impacts of natural and non-natural hazards and actions to reduce those impacts.

Northampton & Lehigh County Emergency Management offices with the support of Witt O’Brien’s are delighted to announce the release of the draft 2024 Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Notice of DRAFT Document for Public Review

NOTE: All documents found below pertaining to the 2024 Lehigh Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan are being shared in their DRAFT form to provide Public review.

Next steps for the 2024 Plan?

Now that the Public Comment period has ended what is next for the 2024 LV Hazard Mitigation Plan? Next Steps are:

      • Review by PEMA staffState review may take 1 – 2 weeks. Once reviewed & approved by PEMA the next step is….

      • Review by FEMA Region III staffFederal review may take 6 – 8 weeks. Once reviewed & approved by FEMA the next step is…

      • Municipal level adoption. Once the first of the sixty-two (62) municipalities officially adopts the Plan the Plan then is “in place” till the next review slated for spring 2029. NOTE: a participating municipality MUST adopt the Plan locally within one (1) year from the first municipal adoption to stay active and eligible for the 5 years.

Appendices

 Coming Soon

Use drop down bars below to find municipal annexes

Lehigh County Co-Chair

Kevin McGowan

Community Outreach Manager

Lehigh County Emergency Management Agency
640 W. Hamilton Street, 8th Floor
Allentown, PA 18101

(610) 782-4601EMAIL

Northampton County Co-Chair

Thomas E. Guth, Jr.

Hazard Mitigation / Disaster Recovery Manager

Northampton County Emergency Management
100 Gracedale Avenue
Nazareth, PA  18064-9278

(610) 746-3194 x3228EMAIL