Public Outreach

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Hazard mitigation planning is the process through which hazards that threaten communities are identified, likely impacts of those hazards are determined, mitigation goals are set, and appropriate strategies to lessen impacts are determined, prioritized, and implemented. The planning process is heavily dependent on the participation of representatives from local government agencies and departments, the general public, and other stakeholder groups.

Who is involved in the hazard mitigation planning?

The City of Merced Local Hazard Mitigation Plan was crafted by the Plan Leadership Team, guided by technical support staff and actions of the Disaster Council, with input from the comments of an engaged community.

General Public: This web page has been established to provide all interested citizens within the planning area, access to the draft plan, as well as information about past and future public meetings.

Stakeholders: Many stakeholders have been invited to participate in this program, and represent a broad range of individuals or groups that could be affected by the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and/or who can provide specialized knowledge, or be individuals working with populations or areas at risk from natural hazards. Plan stakeholders have several opportunities to participate in the development of the Plan, including: attending Disaster Council meetings, hosting and attending community outreach workshops, commenting on the draft plan, and discussions with Plan team members to share their ideas and concerns about hazard mitigation planning for consideration in drafting the draft plan.

Disaster Council: Hazard Mitigation Planning is one of the best ways to enhance collaboration and gain support among the parties whose interests might be affected by hazard losses. By working together, a broad range of stakeholders can identify and create partnerships that pool resources to achieve a common vision for the community. The City’s Disaster Council serves this role, and works directly with City Staff, with input from the community, to craft the City of Merced Hazard Mitigation Plan. The members of this committee included key city personnel, citizens, knowledgeable individuals representative of the community, and select stakeholders from within the planning area. In accordance with the Merced Municipal Code, the City Manager appointed the members, and on December 5, 2011, the City Council of the City of Merced was presented with the roster and an overview of the jurisdiction and purpose of the Disaster Council, whose members are:

  1. Chair: John Bramble, City Manager / (Director of Emergency Services)
  2. Vice-Chair: Mike McLaughlin, Fire Chief / (Deputy Director of Emergency Services)
  3. Police: Norm Andrade, Police Chief
  4. Public Works: Mike Wegley, Director
  5. Public Works: Stan Murdock, Director
  6. Development Services: David Gonzalves, Director
  7. Finance: Brad Grant, Director
  8. Civic Representative: Dr. Laurie Dickinson
  9. The Appraisal Group: John Sundgren
  10. American Red Cross: Sherry Pitchford
  11. Merced Irrigation District: Dan Aguilar
  12. Pacific Gas & Electric: Richard Dye
  13. Merced City School District: RoseMary Parga Duran
  14. Merced Union High School District: Kelly Bentz

Plan Leadership Team: A Plan Leadership Team was assembled early in the process to lead and manage the effort to draft a Hazard Mitigation Plan. This team consisted of City Planning staff and Fire Department personnel.

Opportunities to Participate

Attend Disaster Council Meetings
The Disaster Council is scheduled to meet on January 25, 2013 and March 29, 2013 to complete their review of the City's Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. These meetings are held at Fire Station #51 on 16th Street, just east of "G" Street from 3:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.. In January, the Council will review the draft Action Plan, which will list the prioritized actions and implementing factors such as responsibility, timeline and funding. In March, the complete administrative draft plan will be provided to the Council and the public for final review and comment. The plan will be reviewed and approved by state and federal emergency management agencies prior adoption of the plan by the City Council, sometime in Fall 2013.

Comment on the Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan

Request to be Placed on the Project e-mail Public Notice List
If you would like to be on the e-mail list for this project, please provide your e-mail address to

Disaster Council Meeting Materials

Newspaper Articles

Outreach Documents