Flooding in Colorado

Thornton, Federal Heights, and Northglenn Hazard Mitigation Plan

Welcome to the webpage for the Thornton, Federal Heights, and Northglenn Hazard Mitigation Plan. The three cities partnered in 2017 to produce a multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan intended to assist all three cities in identifying natural hazard risks, developing mitigation strategies to lessen future impacts, and working to progress each community towards a more resilient future. The 2017 plan was completed and approved by the City Councils for all three cities before FEMA approved it on April 21, 2017. Mitigation Plans have a five (5) year planning cycle, so in 2022 the three cities partnered again to update and enhance the 2017 Plan.

The new 2023 Hazard Mitigation Plan was approved by the State of Colorado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and was adopted by the City Councils of all three cities, with an official approval date of April 18, 2023. The 2023 Hazard Mitigation Plan provides the three communities with access to the latest data about natural and human caused hazards along with strategies to decrease vulnerability and increase resiliency. Having a plan in place also provides cities access to hazard mitigation resources, grant funding and post-disaster funding that might not otherwise be available.

**Each of the three partner cities approved a version of the plan specific to their city and may amend their version as needed. Thornton's version of the plan can be found at the link located on the right column of this page.


What is Hazard Mitigation?

The term "Hazard Mitigation" describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate future long-term impacts caused by hazards or disasters, such as floods, wildfires, extreme temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes, or severe storms. As the costs associated with disasters and recovery continue to rise, we must find ways to reduce hazard risks in our communities. Safer communities are more attractive to employers as well as residents, and efforts to reduce hazard risks are easily compatible with other community goals. As communities plan for new development and improvements to existing infrastructure, mitigation will be an important component of the planning effort.

While mitigation activities are usually taken before a disaster event occurs, post-disaster hazard mitigation is essential. Oftentimes, post-disaster repairs and reconstruction are completed with the goal of simply restoring damaged property to pre-event conditions. These efforts may allow us to “return to normal," but the replication of pre-disaster conditions often results in a repetitive cycle of damage, reconstruction, and more damage. Hazard mitigation breaks this repetitive cycle by producing more resilient conditions through post-disaster repairs and reconstruction. The implementation of hazard mitigation actions by state and local governments means building stronger, safer, and smarter communities that will be able to reduce future injuries and damage. 

Road washed out by water

About the Project

The Thornton, Federal Heights, and Northglenn Hazard Mitigation Plan was developed in close cooperation with a great variety of stakeholders including many local organizations, government agencies, service providers and businesses. The planning process was also actively promoted to the public in many ways and included public input.

These three cities will benefit from this project by:

  • Increasing eligibility for all sources of pre and post disaster hazard mitigation grant funds made available through the State of Colorado and FEMA.

  • Increasing public awareness and understanding of vulnerabilities as well as support for specific actions to reduce losses from future disasters.

  • Ensuring community policies, programs, and goals are compatible with reducing vulnerability to all natural hazards and identifying those that are incompatible.

  • Incorporating natural hazard mitigation elements into other city planning documents, as appropriate.

  • Building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, increasing opportunities to leverage data and resources in reducing workloads, and achieving shared community objectives.

  • Expanding the understanding of potential risk reduction measures to include: local plans and regulations; structure and infrastructure projects; natural systems protection; education and awareness programs; and other tools.

  • Informing the development, prioritization, and implementation of mitigation projects.

The benefits of this planning effort will magnify over time as losses are avoided, capacities are strengthened, and local resiliency to hazards is increased.

Project Outreach and Communications

The City of Thornton's Policy Planning Division and the Thornton Fire Department's Office of Emergency Management served as the leads for this project and coordinated closely with the other two cities, as well as other departments within Thornton...

If you have questions about this planning process, feel free to contact the applicable jurisdictional leads below: