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It might be a wildfire, major winter storm, flash flood, dam failure, landslide, avalanche or drought that’s been on your mind in recent months. Or maybe you think occasionally about tornadoes, although a scant average of .02 twisters occur each year in Chaffee County, according to local statistics on natural hazards. You can also spend time wondering about volcanic eruptions and comets, but they are listed below tornadoes as a very low public threat in these parts.

That said, Chaffee County has its share of natural hazards and its leaders want to know your thoughts and concerns. Residents are invited to share their input on the county’s 2021 multi-jurisdictional Hazards Mitigation Plan. The five-minute survey is at

The survey is open until Feb. 8. Responses will help gauge community perceptions of dangers, natural hazard significance and impacts, and specific issues of concern. The plan establishes the joint efforts of the County, City of Salida, Town of Buena Vista and Town of Poncha Springs to assess and plan for natural hazard mitigation, response and recovery efforts. Click here for more background.

This effort brings together local municipalities for pre-disaster planning on multiple natural hazard topics and incident types, ranging from avalanches to wildfires. It also ensures the County and its municipalities remain eligible for federal and state grant funding for hazards mitigation.

Chaffee County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) updates the county’s hazard mitigation plan every five years in keeping with Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements. Chaffee’s prior plan was completed in 2016. It can be viewed at

OEM is working with the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee, which is composed of stakeholders from all represented jurisdictions with assistance from Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc., a planning consultant, to update Chaffee County’s plan.

The updated draft plan will be shared for public review and comment in spring 2021 and the final plan will be adopted by fall 2021.

“Development of this updated Hazard Mitigation Plan greatly benefits from the public’s input,” said Chaffee County OEM director Richard Atkins. “We encourage all residents to share their opinions to help us prioritize our mitigation efforts, proactively manage risks and best reduce the negative impacts of natural hazards in Chaffee County.”

For more information on Chaffee County emergency management: