Hazard Profiles Overview
Hazards Considered This
All Hazards Mitigation Plan provides risk assessment and mitigation strategies
for the hazards that have been determined to pose the most risk to Boundary
County and/or must be addressed as required by the State of Idaho and FEMA.
In developing this plan, the Boundary County LEPC considered natural
hazards, as follows:
Determination of Risk Boundary County
does not have a single data base for past incidents. Therefore, a thorough review of newspaper reports from the
last 50 years was conducted to determine what hazardous events have impacted the
county. In reviewing the various
categories of hazardous events that have occurred in Boundary County, it is
evident that almost every imaginable type of natural incident has occurred at
least once, as well as a wide variety of events caused by human actions or
inventions. Some of the events were
very damaging to property and lives. Other
events had great potential to be disastrous, but turned out to be of little
The LEPC determined that the
following hazards pose the highest potential risk to the people and structures
within Boundary County. These
hazards are listed from greatest to lesser threat.
current Boundary County Emergency Operations Plan lists a wide range of
potential hazards, which the plan addresses.
The Operations Plans list includes all of the categories that were
collected in the half-century analysis.
It also addresses some potential hazards that have not occurred.
Responses Boundary County emergency responders deal with
about ten newsworthy hazardous events (not including non-wildland fire) and
about 49 wildland fires each year. In
the last half-century, one of every four responses to an event other than non-wildland
fire has involved at least one fatality. Not
included in these statistics are car accidents.
A particular note must be made
that in this county, most emergency responders are volunteers.
Most, if not all, responders to residential and industrial fires,
transportation incidents, hazmat incidents, and search and rescue operations are
volunteers. It is a great tribute
to the civic spirit of the citizenry of the county to have this level of
volunteerism. However, as incidents
become more complex, volunteer crews present special and difficult problems.
Gaining the technical/expertise necessary through extensive training that
involves days or weeks is almost impossible for volunteers to attain.
Few volunteers can afford to miss work to attain the training and few
employers can afford to have one or more employees away from the job site for
more than a day or two. Even scheduling training exercises involving a mix of paid
employees and volunteers presents problems.
It is typical for paid employees to expect to train during working hours.
Volunteers expect to train during "drill night.”
It must be emphasized, however,
that when a hazardous event does occur in the county, large numbers of
volunteers respond quickly. They
are more than willing to work hard to mitigate the effects of the event as
quickly as possible.
feel that the county is better prepared to deal with forest fires than any other
hazard. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Idaho Department of Lands
(IDL) employ a significant work force to control wildfires. These two agencies also have access to a large national
supply and worker system. This work
force is very dependable because it is well trained, equipped and paid.
Residential and industrial
fires, industrial accidents and transportation incidents occur with a high
frequency. They are often tragic
incidents due to the loss of property and human lives.
most common trigger for landslides is a combination of precipitation and human
activities. In the last century, most of the landslides in Boundary County
have occurred on steep slopes adjacent to roads where the vegetation has been
reduced or removed due to road construction or wildfire.
The major roadways in the county have received attention and monitoring,
but proper development standards need to be instituted to reduce landslide
potential, particularly on steep slopes.
Weather Weather incidents such as high winds and heavy snow
or ice, can cause downed power lines, road and school closures, and similar
incidents. On the average, these
events occur more than once a year. Costs
in direct losses are usually not high from these incidents, but they are
disruptive to the business and lives of county residents.
Effects can be significant if the condition is long lasting and/or covers
a wide area.
were relatively less frequent in occurrence than other hazardous events
occurring during the period of analysis, but they were by far the most damaging
to property. A system of dikes was
constructed to control flooding of the valley floor. The dike has areas of concerns that the Army Corp of Engineers
is currently assessing.
Earthquakes There are no documented faults in Boundary County but the Purcell Trench runs through the center of the county. Based on historical records and current information, LEPC feels that the earthquake risk is low in Boundary County. Only three significant earthquakes have occurred in the county in the last 50 years, and there was no reported damage from any of them. The primary risk comes from earthquakes that may occur along nearby fault lines elsewhere in Idaho or in Montana.