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Sangamon County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan Definitions


A source of danger. This Plan focuses on natural hazards, events like floods, tornadoes, and heat waves (or extreme heat) that cause injury or damage property. The hazard is the event itself—the high winds, the lightning, the rising waters.


Open to damage. Whereas hazards are dangerous events, vulnerability is an aspect of people and property—their potential to be damaged by hazards. We cannot control hazards, but we do control our vulnerabilities to hazards.


Possibility of loss or injury. Not all hazards are the same, even within the same hazard. Risk is an evaluation of how likely a hazard is, and what damages are likely to result. Understanding our risks helps us to spend our money wisely in reducing our vulnerabilities.


To make less severe or painful. Mitigation is what we do to reduce our vulnerabilities. Building storm shelters, preventing development in flood zones, and creating a tornado warning system all mitigate different hazards.

Critical Facilities

Places that are vital to the health and welfare of the population, particularly those that are crucial following a hazard event. Examples of critical facilities include shelters, police and fire stations, and hospitals. Places of general community importance, such as historical areas or churches, may also be critical facilities, since it is important that they are protected.

The Plan

The Sangamon County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan focuses on natural hazards that face the communities within Sangamon County. The Springfield Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission is coordinating with these communities to develop a joint plan.


General guidelines that explain what the community wants to achieve with the plan. Goals are usually broad long-term policy statements that represent overall visions.