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San Luis Obispo County prepares for future natural disasters

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 01:23:41-04

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for natural disasters and planners are asking for the community’s help.

The county is looking for input on a Hazard Mitigation Plan that is updated every five years.

They are looking for ways to save lives and property in the event of fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other disasters.

Natural disasters can bring great destruction and the Central Coast is no stranger to it.

People in San Luis Obispo County say they’re worried especially in the wake of recent deadly wildfires.

“How do we get more people involved so that they are prepared and so that my neighbor doesn’t catch on fire and then these mass tracts of public land catch on fire,” said Emily Miggins, a Los Osos resident.

San Luis Obispo County planners held a public meeting Tuesday looking for ways to decrease the impact of events like fires or mudslides.

The Planning and Building department is updating this plan so the county is better prepared if and when disaster strikes locally.

“We are looking at hazard mitigation actions or projects that would be proposed and to mitigate those hazards to mitigate damages and loss of life,” said Scott Milner, the San Luis Obispo County Emergency Services Coordinator.

People ranked the risks they felt would be more catastrophic within San Luis Obispo County including fires, earthquakes and sea level rise hazards.

“To address sea level rise some of the projects might include seawalls and beach nourishment where you add sand to the beach,” said Milner.

A member of the SLO County Farm Bureau brought up concerns for state and federal laws that might prevent farmers from reducing fire and flood risk on their lands.

“[Farmers] are good stewards of the land they are just not allowed to take care of it to help mitigate some of these hazards,” said James Green, Government Affairs Specialist for the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau.

For the first time, the plan will include all jurisdictions in the county.

After they gather suggestions from the public, county planners will create a draft plan update.

We can expect to see that in July.

Tuesday night’s meeting was the last public input meeting but community members can still submit comments here until May 7.