The City of Laurel undertook development of an All Hazard Plan, in conjunction with Prince George’s County, because of increasing awareness that natural and man-made hazards, especially flood hazards, may affect many people and property in the Laurel area. The All Hazard Plan is a requirement associated with receipt of certain federal mitigation grant program funds administered by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The All Hazard Plan was prepared by a Mitigation Advisory Committee composed of staff representatives from the City of Laurel Emergency Services Department and various County departments and agencies: Environmental Resources; Homeland Security/Emergency Management; Public Works & Transportation, Housing & Community Development; Central Services, Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Representatives from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources were notified of the meetings. Other federal agencies were notified and invited to attend.
The City of Laurel has experienced a number of flood events that resulted in localized damage. Other waterways have also risen out of their banks and flooded homes and businesses. Although aggressive programs to identify flood hazards, guide development to other areas, and to undertake projects to reduce exposure have been in place for more than 20 years, about 3,700 older buildings are at some risk of flooding.
The area is subject to other hazards. A review of past events and the number and distribution of people and property that are exposed to hazards led to identifying hazards that warranted further consideration: winter storms, high winds, severe storms, drought, and unstable soils.
The All Hazard Plan sets the stage for theCity of Laurel, Prince George's County and the other incorporated municipalities to continue to address long-term disaster resistance through identification of actions that will, over time, continue to reduce the exposure of people and property to natural hazards. Sections of the Plan i:
• Provide overviews of the hazards that threaten the area,
• Characterize the people and property that are exposed to some risk due to those hazards,
• Outline the planning process,
• Describe how natural hazards are recognized in the City’s normal processes and functions,
• Describe the City of Laurel and its development review with respect to natural hazards, and
• Identify the priority of mitigation action items.