The State of West Virginia is committed to building resilience for future hazard events in all communities through ongoing risk reduction efforts. West Virginia is vulnerable to a wide range of natural and non-natural hazards that have impacted and will continue to impact its people, property, environment, infrastructure, and economy. The State has received 77 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster declarations since 1954. Of these, 32 involved floods, and 31 involved severe storm incidents. Many other disasters and emergencies have also occurred within this time frame. All have resulted in a hefty cost to West Virginia’s people, environment, property, and economy, and the pace and magnitude of disasters is expected to increase due to the changing nature of hazard events.
Table of Contents
Part I: Background Information
Part II: Planning Process
Part III: Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
Part IV: Capabilities and Coordination
Part V: Mitigation Strategy
Part VI: Putting the Plan into Action
Appendix A: Meeting Documentation
Appendix B: Outreach Documentation
Appendix C: Dams Listed on the National Inventory of Dams
Reducing risks associated with hazards requires an integrated and collaborative approach that emphasizes building community resilience through federal, state, and local cooperation. Hazard mitigation is the sustained effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening or eliminating the impacts of natural and human-caused emergencies and disasters. It requires an understanding of all risks and investment in long-term community well-being through the implementation of short-term and long-term strategies before the next disaster (FEMA 2022). The purpose of hazard mitigation planning is to identify and assess hazards that impact the state, develop a strategy to reduce losses from those hazards, and establish a coordinated process to implement the strategy.