Department ofEnvironmental, Health, Safety & Emergency Programs

What is Mitigation?

Mitigation means to take action in advance of an incident to eliminate or reduce the potential impacts. Mitigation may involve seismic retrofitting of buildings, fire sprinkler installation, strapping file cabinets to the wall to reduce earthquake damage, maintaining clear paths to exit doors, and implementation of text message and other notification systems. Mitigation focuses on long-term and sustained solutions to reducing risk. Please take a look in the Quicklinks to view PLU's Hazard Mitigation Plan.

PLU & Region 5 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

PLU, in conjunction with 69 cities, towns,special purpose districts (fire, utility, school, port, etc.) and private non-profits in Pierce County, is participating in the update of its existing Hazard Mitigation Plan. Once the Updated Plan is adopted by the PLU Board and approved by Washington State Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency, PLU will be eligible for Pre and Post Disaster Hazard Mitigation Funds from the Federal Government.

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management is responsible for the coordination and development of the Plan. The Plan updates must be completed by the fall of 2013.

The Plan is comprised of the following sections: a Profile Section, a Risk Assessment Section, a Capability Identification Section, a Mitigation Strategy Section,and a Plan Maintenance Section as well as appropriate Appendices. The Planning Teams will be holding public comment meetings in June and July of 2012 and 2013 as part of an ongoing Public Involvement requirement.

For further information, visit the Plan website at www.co.pierce.wa.us/mitigation or contact Katie Gillespie, Mitigation Planner at the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, at (253) 798-3311, kgilles@co.pierce.wa.us.

Upcoming Hazard Mitigation Projects

PLU submitted two PDM grant applications for funding to improve the seismic integrity of two PLU residence halls - Stuen and Ordal. The total project costs for Stuen and Ordal are approximately $2.1 million. A benefit cost analysis, using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) modeling tool, results in more public benefit than cost making the projects eligible for funding. Funding was granted to PLU in 2012. With this funding, PLU will retrofit these buildings to a Life-Safety structural engineering standard, meaning it would improve the building's ability to withstand earthquake shaking and damage that would otherwise result in injuries or deaths. These projects begin in 2013.

Retrofitting these buildings will likely result in less demand for emergency services in the case of a regional disaster and will enable PLU to continue to house its own community safely, as well as supporting the surrounding community.

Completed Mitigation Projects

PLU installed card access locks in Olson and Reike in 2010 and Hauge in 2012 with the help of a Homeland Security Non-profit Security Grant. The locks enable faster lock down during a violent incident.

PLU completed seismic retrofits of Hinderlie and Hong residence halls during the summer of 2009 with the help of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

In addition, PLU has performed seismic retrofits of several other buildings on campus, installed card access locks in residence halls and a number of administrative buildings, installed earthquake sensitive natural gas shut-off valves throughout campus.