The Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Act of 2010 (PDM), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides funding and technical assistance to state and local governments for disaster preparedness and management. Over the last two years, UNM has developed the first university approved Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan in New Mexico. The ongoing program aims to develop ways to reduce impact of natural disasters on UNM’s resources by identifying natural hazards and associated risks applicable to UNM, determining the impacts of these hazards, setting mitigation goals, and developing strategies that would lessen potential impacts.
EDAC’s role in the plan is to perform fundamental analysis of top hazards likely to affect UNM by identifying such as thunderstorms, lightning, hail, winter storms, extreme cold/heat, wind/dust storms, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, drought, and earthquakes and by incorporating factors such as building age, building use, and building function to properly assess the risk associated with various hazards. Through output maps and reports, hazard awareness can be better understood and shared. Priorities then can be established and the mitigation plan implemented.
Because universities provide structure and stability to local economies and directly influence their surrounding communities, states, and local governments, having a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan that saves lives, reduces damage and monetary loss, and keeps universities’ doors open and fully operational is essential.