Salem must be resilient and ready to recover from earthquakes, flooding, and other natural disasters.
What is resilience?
The simplest definition of a resilience is the capacity to adapt to and bounce back from unexpected circumstances that upset the normal routine. To be prepared, cities must:
- Identify and prioritize risks to community
- Develop private and public partnerships
- Implement planning and design strategies to increase resilience
What is Salem doing?
The City of Salem has been looking at ways to mitigate hazards since the millennium change in 2000. Resilience thinking is incorporated into all the City’s
plans and projects.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines mitigation as “the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters . . . through risk analysis, which results in information that provides a foundation for mitigation activities that reduce risk.”
In 2000, Salem was one of the first communities to have an approved
Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP).
In 2017, resident provided input regarding their preparedness for natural hazards as part of updating the
NHMP in cooperation with the
University of Oregon Community Service Center-Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience and the
Oregon Military Department’s Office of Emergency Management.
With re-adoption of the plan, Salem will maintain its eligibility to apply for federal funding toward natural hazard mitigation projects.
Salem’s primary hazard is flooding. Due to diligent improvement activities in Public Works, Salem’s Community Rating System (CRS) has significantly improved over the years. As a result, Salem’s residents are eligible for flood insurance discounts based on one of the highest CRS ratings in the State of Oregon.
Earthquake preparedness has received increased focus over the decades. Significant resources were expended to seismically retrofit critical public safety infrastructure, including fire stations. Resilience of our community is improved through planning, training and testing the preparedness elements in a live exercise environment.
Community Emergency Response Team
Neighborhood resiliency is being enhanced through education and training in the Fire Department’s
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. Salem residents have been organizing and training since the fall of 2002 to assist with the “bounce back” in their local neighborhoods. Training classes in 2017 will push the number of trained volunteer residents over 1800.
Improving energy efficiency is a key component to withstanding future energy-related challenges.
Salem’s Community Energy Strategy serves as a road map for energy saving efforts community‐wide.