Flooding in Colorado

2017 Thornton, Federal Heights, and Northglenn Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

Welcome to the webpage for the 2017 Thornton, Federal Heights, and Northglenn Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Our three cities have partnered to produce an up-to-date natural hazard mitigation plan that will assist us in progressing towards a more resilient future.

Our Hazard Mitigation Plan has now been approved by the State of Colorado and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and has been adopted by resolution by each of the partner cities. The plan's approval date is April 21, 2017 and it expired on April 20, 2022. 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.

2022 Plan Update

In anticipation of the expiration of the 2017 Hazard Mitigation Plan, Thornton partnered with the State of Colorado and the neighboring cities of Federal Heights and Northglenn to replace the current 2017 Plan with an updated 2022 Hazard Mitigation Plan. This will provide our communities with access to the latest data about the natural hazards in our area and the ways that we are vulnerable to them. Having a current Plan in place also provides cities access to hazard mitigation resources that might not otherwise be available. Work on the Plan update began in 2021 and is expected to be adopted in early 2023. A link to the draft 2022 Hazard Mitigation Plan can be found on the right hand side of the page.


What is Hazard Mitigation?

The term "Hazard Mitigation" describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by hazards or disasters, such as floods, wildfires, extreme temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes, or severe storms. As the costs associated with disaster preparedness 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 can and should be an important component of the planning effort.

Road washed out by waterWhile 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. 

About the Project

The 2017 Thornton, Federal Heights, and Northglenn Natural 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 Long Range Planning Division served as the lead for this project and will be coordinating closely with the other two cities, as well as other departments within Thornton, as the Plan moves into implementation phase.

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