Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Process Underway

Delta County in partnership with local municipalities, Fire Protection Districts and Delta County School District 50J have started the process to update our Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan which according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must be updated every five (5) years.  Delta County received funding for the update through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program administered by FEMA and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  Utilizing these grant funds under a 90% federal cost share and 10% local cost share to the County,  Delta County Emergency Management and partners completed an Request For Proposals (RFP) bid process in the summer of 2022 and selected WSP, USA Environment & Infrastructure Inc. out of Denver, Colorado to guide the update process and prepare the updated Hazard Mitigation Plan. 

Delta County, led by the Emergency Management Division at the Sheriff's Office in partnership with the municipalities, fire protection district chiefs and the School District are currently compiling plans and data and sharing that information about hazards and past events with planners at WSP.  The Hazard Mitigation Plan addresses both natural and man-made hazards in the County.  To ensure we adequately capture hazards and prepare a plan to mitigate the effects on the community and prevent damage to critical infrastructure, private property and the loss of life; we need input from Delta County residents.   The first step in this process is a community survey about natural and man-made hazards in our County.   

Plan Update - January 2024

The draft Hazard Mitigation Plan has been submitted to CO Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for review and comments. After comments are received on the plan it will be submitted to FEMA for approval and then jurisdictions will formally adopt the plan. If you have any questions about the plan, please contact Emergency Manager Kris Stewart at 970-874-2004.

2018 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Delta County, the City of Delta, the Towns of Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Orchard City, and Fires Protection Districts in Paonia, Hotchkiss, Cedaredge, and Delta have prepared a local hazard mitigation plan to guide hazard mitigation planning to better protect the people and property of Delta County from the effects of disasters. Additionally, proactive mitigation planning will help reduce the costs of disaster response and recovery by protecting critical community facilities, reducing liability exposure, and minimizing overall community impacts and disruptions. An approved hazard mitigation plan allows the County, municipalities, and fire protection districts to remain eligible for FEMA mitigation funding programs, both pre- and post-disaster. It does not affect the County’s or participating jurisdictions’ access to disaster assistance programs.

What is Hazard Mitigation?

Each year in the United States, 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. Many natural disasters are predictable, and much of the damage caused by these events can be alleviated or even eliminated.

Hazard mitigation is defined by FEMA as “any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to human life and property from a hazard event.” The results of a three-year, congressionally mandated independent study to assess future savings from mitigation activities provides evidence that mitigation activities are highly cost-effective. On average, each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $6.00 in avoided future losses in addition to saving lives and preventing injuries (National Institute of Building Science Multi-hazard Mitigation Council 2005).

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires that local governments have hazard mitigation plans approved by FEMA to be eligible for hazard mitigation funding programs. 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. The planning process is heavily dependent on the participation of representatives from local government agencies and departments, the general public, and other stakeholder groups.

Natural and Man-Made Hazards identified in Delta County

The Delta County plan specifically addresses the following natural and man made hazards:

  • Avalanche
  • Dam Failure
  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Expansive Soils
  • Flood
  • Hazardous Materials Release
  • Landslide, Mudflow/Debris Flow, Rock Fall
  • Lightning
  • Wildfire
  • Windstorm
  • Winter Weather

The 2018 Delta County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan was completed and approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on January 15, 2019.  The plan is valid through January 14, 2024, and encompasses two volumes. Volume One is for Unincorporated Delta County, and Volume Two has annexes for each of the municipalities in Delta County and Fire Districts.

The County, local municipalities, and fire districts must revise the plan and resubmit it for approval within five years to continue to remain eligible for mitigation project grant funding.

2018 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Links

Volume 1 : Delta County 2018 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
Volume 2: Municipal Annexes and Fire Protection Districts
2018 Delta County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update


The following resources provide more information about hazard mitigation and hazard mitigation planning:

FEMA: Hazard Mitigation Planning
Colorado Division of Emergency Management: Mitigation and Recovery web page