Columbia County is prone to a variety of hazards, each of which has the potential to disrupt the community, cause damage, and create casualties. Natural hazards include earthquakes, droughts, floods, wildfires, and winter storms. These situations can cause deaths or significant injuries to the public, can disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the financial standing of businesses, institutions, or other organizations.
The Columbia County Department of Emergency Management works to create resiliency in the county. Resilience is the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Resilient communities are aware of the risks they face and understand their vulnerabilities.
In terms of emergency preparedness, disaster resilience allows individuals, communities, organizations, and jurisdictions to recover from hazards, shocks, or stresses while positively adapting and transforming their structures and means for living in the face of long-term changes and uncertainty. Being resilient means communities are better able to withstand a variety of adverse effects, quickly restore vital services, and rebuild.
Columbia County’s Emergency Department of Emergency Management works to improve resiliency in the following areas:
- recovery from disaster situations
- prioritizing fuel allocation after a major earthquake
- review of the county’s Emergency Operations Plan
- prioritization of emergency management duties
- updating shelter agreements with Red Cross
- developing Hazard Mitigation Plans
- creating and exercising Continuity of Operations Plans for the county, agencies, jurisdictions, and private sector partners.