2020 Winneshiek County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Posted: March 16, 2020

Developed by: The Cities of Calmar, Castalia, Decorah, Fort Atkinson, Jackson Junction, Ossian, Ridgeway, Spillville and the County’s unincorporated areas

Professional planning assistance provided by Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC)


What is hazard mitigation?

Hazard mitigation planning is the process through which hazards that threaten communities are identified, likely impacts of those hazards are determined, mitigation goals are set, and appropriate strategies to lessen impacts are determined, prioritized, and implemented. This plan documents the countywide hazard mitigation planning process and identifies relevant hazards, vulnerabilities and strategies the Participating Jurisdictions will use to decrease vulnerability and increase resiliency and sustainability. It will affect activities and decisions for proactive mitigation planning that will help reduce the cost of disaster response. Hazard mitigation is described as:

  • Any action taken to reduce or eliminate longterm risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects an effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.
  • Hazard mitigation is specifically dedicated to breaking the cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.
  • Mitigation is taking action nowbefore the next disasterto reduce human and financial consequences later by analyzing risk, reducing risk and insuring against risk.

Why do we plan?

Each year in the United States natural disasters take the lives of hundreds of people and injure thousands more. Nationwide, taxpayers pay billions of dollars annually to help communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals recover from disasters. These monies only partially reflect the true cost of disasters, because subsequent expenses incurred by insurance companies and nongovernmental organizations are not reimbursed by tax dollars. Many natural disasters are predictable, and much of the damage caused by these events can be minimized or even eliminated. Planning allows the stakeholders to identify policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future losses. Mitigation Plans form the foundation for a community’s long term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Plans create a framework for riskbased decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters. Planning has many benefits:

  • Planning identifies cost effective actions for risk reduction that are agreed upon by stakeholders and the public
  • Planning focuses resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities
  • Planning builds partnerships by involving people, organizations, and businesses
  • Planning increases education and awareness of hazards and risk
  • Planning communicates priorities to state and federal officials
  • Planning aligns risk reduction with other community objectives


Read the full document using the link below.



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