MITIGATION STRATEGY OVERVIEW

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1 ALL-HAZARDS MITIGATION PLAN MITIGATION STRATEGY Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Requirement 44 CFR Part 201.6(c)(3)(i): The mitigation strategy shall include a description of mitigation goals to reduce or avoid long-term vulnerabilities to the identified hazards. OVERVIEW This section of the Plan provides the blueprint for USC to follow in becoming less vulnerable to its identified hazards. It is based on general consensus of the USC Planning Team and the findings and conclusions of the Risk Assessment (Section 5: Hazard Identification and Analysis and Section 6: Vulnerability Assessment). It consists of the following four subsections: Introduction Mitigation Goals Identification of Mitigation Techniques Selection of Mitigation Techniques for USC DRU INTRODUCTION RVIEW The intent of the Mitigation Strategy is to provide USC with the goals that will serve as guiding principles for future mitigation policy and project administration, along with an analysis of mitigation techniques deemed available to meet those goals and reduce the impact of identified hazards. It is designed to be comprehensive, strategic and functional in nature: In being comprehensive, the development of the strategy includes a thorough review of all hazards and identifies extensive mitigation measures intended to not only reduce the future impacts of high risk hazards, but also to assist the University achieve compatible economic, environmental and social goals. In being strategic, the development of the strategy ensures that all policies and projects to be proposed for implementation under the USC are consistent with pre-identified, long-term planning goals. In being functional, each proposed mitigation action is linked to established priorities and assigned to specific departments or individuals responsible for their implementation with target completion deadlines. When necessary, funding sources are identified that can be used to assist in project implementation. The first step in designing the Mitigation Strategy includes the identification of USC s system-wide mitigation goals. Mitigation goals represent broad statements that are achieved through the implementation of more specific, action-oriented objectives. These actions include both soft hazard mitigation policies (such as the enhancement of building standards for new USC facilities),

2 7:2 and hard structural mitigation projects that seek to address specifically targeted hazard risks (such as the retrofitting or hardening of an existing USC facility). The second step involves the identification, consideration and analysis of available mitigation measures to help USC achieve the identified mitigation goals. This is a long-term, continuous process sustained through the development and maintenance of this DRU All-Hazards Mitigation Plan. Alternative mitigation measures will continue to be considered as future mitigation opportunities become identified, as data and technology improve, as mitigation funding becomes available, and as the DRU All-Hazards Mitigation Plan is maintained by USC over time. The third and last step in designing the Mitigation Strategy is the selection and prioritization of specific mitigation actions for USC (provided separately in Section 8: Mitigation Action Plan). The Mitigation Action Plan, or MAP, represents an unambiguous and functional plan for action and is considered to be the most essential outcome of the mitigation planning process. The MAP includes a prioritized listing of proposed hazard mitigation actions (policies and projects) for USC to carry out with accompanying information such as those departments or lead individuals assigned responsibility for their implementation, potential funding sources and an estimated target date for completion. The MAP provides those departments or individuals responsible for implementing mitigation actions with a clear roadmap that also serves as an important tool for monitoring success or progress over time. The cohesive collection of actions listed in the MAP can also serve as an easily understood menu of mitigation policies and projects for those University decision makers who want to quickly review the recommendations and proposed actions of the USC Disaster Resistant University Plan. Each senior and regional campus had a planning team that worked to assist in the mitigation strategy. This allowed each campus to consider their current emergency plans and campus assessments to align directly with the mitigation action plan proposed for their campus. The four year campuses, USC Aiken and USC Upstate both already had comprehensive plans in place and were able to use the Mitigation Action Plan to enhance their efforts. In preparing the Mitigation Action Plan, the DRU Planning Team considered USC s overall hazard risk and capability to mitigate the effects of hazards as recorded in Section 4: Hazard Identification and Analysis and Section 5: Vulnerability Assessment, in addition to meeting the adopted mitigation goals and unique needs of the university. To assist in this process, USC applied the FEMA-recommended evaluation criteria to each proposed mitigation action. MITIGATION ACTION PRIORITIZATION For the USC, the Planning Team was tasked with establishing a priority for each action. Prioritization of the proposed mitigation actions was based on the following six (6) factors: Effect on overall risk to life and University property Ease of implementation Campus and community support A general economic cost/benefit review [1] [1] Only a general economic cost/benefit review was considered by the Planning Team through the process of selecting and prioritizing mitigation actions. Mitigation actions with high priority were determined to be the most cost effective and most compatible with the participating jurisdictions unique needs. A more detailed cost/benefit analysis will be applied to particular projects prior to the application for or obligation of funding, as appropriate.

3 7:3 Funding availability Continued compliance with the NFIP (if applicable) Using these criteria, actions were classified as high, moderate, or low priority by the all of the MITIGATION GOALS campuses. ITIGATION GOAMITIGATION GOAL The goals of USC s were crafted early in the planning process and continuously refined through facilitated discussions and brainstorming sessions with the Planning Team (further discussed in Section 2: Planning Process). Each of the following goal statements represent a broad target for USC to achieve through the implementation of its Disaster Resistant University Plan. GOAL 1 Protect the life, safety and security of the campus community by creating a safe and secure environment that is disaster resilient allowing the University to fulfill its mission. GOAL 2 Ensure that the university s mission of teaching, research, creative activity, and service is maintained in the event of a natural or human-caused disaster. GOAL 3 44 CFR Requirement 44 CFR Part 201.6(c)(3)(i): The mitigation strategy shall include a description of mitigation goals to reduce or avoid long-term vulnerabilities to the identified hazards. Increase the protection of existing facilities and infrastructure from hazard threats through retrofit projects by focusing on protecting university assets and critical infrastructure including utilities infrastructure, communication systems, information technology systems and research facilities utilizing funding mechanisms that are available. GOAL 4 Prioritize mitigation strategies to reduce potential losses and identified hazard vulnerabilities and pursue funding sources to establish alternatives for emergency funding. GOAL 5 Enhance campus education programs to raise awareness of hazards, and educate and train the campus community members regarding steps to take to protect themselves and techniques to minimize vulnerability to those hazards. GOAL 6 To share knowledge gained from this project with other state or regional colleges and universities.

4 7:4 IDENTIFICATION OF MITIGATION TECHNIQUES In formulating USC s Mitigation Strategy, a wide range of activities were considered in order to help achieve the established mitigation goals in addition to addressing any specific and targeted hazard concerns. These activities were discussed at length during Planning Team meetings as well as through site visits conducted by the Atkins project team. In general, all activities considered by the Planning Team can be classified under one of the following six (6) broad categories of mitigation techniques. 44 CFR Requirement 44 CFR Part 201.6(c)(3)(ii): The mitigation strategy shall include a section that identifies and analyzes a comprehensive range of specific mitigation actions and projects being considered to reduce the effect of each hazard, with particular emphasis on new and existing buildings and infrastructure. 1. Prevention Preventative activities are intended to keep hazards from getting worse, and are typically administered through regulatory programs or enforcement actions that influence the way land is developed, buildings are constructed or how people respond. They are particularly effective in reducing future vulnerability, especially in areas where development has not yet occurred or capital improvements have not been substantial. Examples of preventative activities include: Planning and design Facilities construction Open space preservation Law enforcement (crime deterrence) Floodplain / stormwater management Capital improvements programming 2. Property Protection Property protection measures involve the modification of existing buildings and structures to help them better withstand the forces of a hazard, or removal of the structures from hazardous locations. Examples include: Acquisition and /or relocation Building elevation Retrofitting (e.g., windproofing, floodproofing, security enhancements, etc.) Critical facilities protection Safe rooms, shutters, impact-resistant glass Insurance 3. Natural Resource Protection Natural resource protection activities reduce the impact of natural hazards by preserving or restoring natural areas and their protective functions. Such areas include floodplains, wetlands, coastal areas, etc. Parks, recreation or conservation agencies and organizations often assist with the implementation of these protective measures. Examples include: Floodplain protection Watershed management

5 7:5 Riparian buffers Forest and vegetation management (e.g., fire resistant landscaping, fuel breaks, etc.) Erosion and sediment control Wetland preservation and restoration Habitat preservation 4. Structural Projects Structural mitigation projects are intended to lessen the impact of a hazard through construction or structural hardening. They are usually designed by engineers and managed or maintained by public works departments at local, state and federal agency levels. Examples include: Reservoirs Dams / levees / dikes / floodwalls Diversions / detention / retention Channel modification Storm sewers 5. Emergency Services Although not typically considered a mitigation technique, emergency service measures do minimize the impact of a hazard event on people and property. These commonly are actions taken immediately prior to, during, or in response to a hazard event. Examples include: Warning and communication systems Emergency power generation Evacuation planning and management Emergency response training and exercises Sandbagging for flood protection Installing temporary shutters for wind protection 6. Public Education and Awareness Public education and awareness activities are used to advise people (faculty, students, parents, visitors, etc.) about hazards, hazardous areas, and mitigation techniques they can use to protect themselves and their property in the event of a hazard. Examples of measures to educate and inform the public include: Outreach projects Speaker series / demonstration events Hazard map information Library materials

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