By Alex Groves

The San Juan Capistrano City Council on Nov. 5 approved an agreement with a firm that will update its Hazard Mitigation Plan, which uses public policy to protect people, facilities, infrastructure and the environment from various hazards.

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires a community to have an approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) to be eligible and apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency hazard mitigation funds. The plan must be updated every five years, and the most recent plan was approved in 2007.

The city approved a contract with Seal Beach-based Ellen Lopez & Associates, Inc., to update the plan at a cost not to exceed $29,500. That amount will come from FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant the city received.

According to a city staff report, a draft plan will be submitted to the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) and then FEMA before returning to the council for final approval. That process may take up to 18 months.


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