The main purpose of the Safety Chapter is to provide policies and implementing actions aimed at reducing injuries, death, property damage, and the economic and social dislocation resulting from natural hazards. The Safety Chapter proposes ways of protecting the community from any unreasonable risk associated with such hazards and seeks to minimize the risk as much as practical. It is recognized, however, that hazards are an unavoidable aspect of society and that, therefore, some degree of risk is inherent in everyday life.
The Safety Chapter provides a systematic approach for responding to hazards relevant to the City of Merced through a set of goals, policies, and actions designed to deal with those hazards. Seismically induced ground shaking, ground failure, dam failure/seiche, flooding, urban and wild land fires, crime, air crashes, and hazardous materials are considered the relevant hazards to the City of Merced.
These policies and actions, among other things: a) encourage the seismic improvement of public facilities and infrastructure; b) endeavor to remove most of the City from the 100-year floodplain by following certain building standards and supporting federal flood control projects; c) restrict certain land uses in airport approach zones; d) support community-based police services; and, e) promote hazardous materials clean-up efforts.
Other highlights of the Safety Chapter include:
A discussion of the City’s disaster and emergency response systems, including evacuation routes;
Maps of areas subject to flooding and dam failure inundation; and,
A detailed discussion of historic seismic activity in California.
Goal Area S-1: Disaster Preparedness
General Disaster Preparedness
S-1.1 Develop and maintain emergency preparedness procedures for the City.
Goal Area S-2: Seismic Safety
Reasonable Safety for City Residents from the Hazards of Earthquake and Other Geologic Activity
S-2.1 Reduce the potential danger from earthquake and seismic-related activity from existing buildings where necessary.
S-2.2 Encourage the improvement of all public facilities and infrastructure, such as natural gas, fuel, sewer, water, electricity, and railroad lines and equipment, with up-to-date seismic safety features.
S-2.3 Restrict urban development in all areas with potential ground failure characteristics.
Goal Area S-3: Flooding
A City Free From Other Than Street Flooding
S-3.1 Endeavor to remove most of the existing City, and the vast majority of the SUDP, from the 100-year floodplain.
S-3.2 Maintain essential City services in the event of flooding or dam failure.
Goal Area S-4: Fire Protection
Fire and Hazardous Material Safety for the Residents of the City and For Those Working in Fire Suppression
S-4.1 Promote the concept of fire protection master planning with fire safety goals, missions, and supporting objectives for the community.
S-4.2 Maintain a reasonable level of accessibility and infrastructure support for fire suppression, disaster, and other emergency services.
Goal Area S-5: Airport Safety
A Safe Airport Environment Both Above and On the Ground
S-5.1 Continue to protect approach areas and control zones for both existing and future runway systems through land use regulations and property acquisition where necessary.
S-5.2 Prevent the encroachment of potential hazards to flight within the Airport's airspace.
Goal Area S-6: Crime
Reduced Criminal Activity and An Increased Feeling of Safety and Security in the Community
S-6.1 Provide superior community-based police services.
S-6.2 Provide services and personnel necessary to maintain community order and public safety.
Goal Area S-7: Hazardous Materials
Hazardous Materials Safety for City Residents
S-7.1 Prevent injuries and environmental contamination due to the uncontrolled release of hazardous materials.
S-7.2 Ensure that hazardous materials are cleaned up before a property is developed or redeveloped.