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Home > City Departments > Emergency Management Services > Section II: Risk Reduction

Section II: Risk Reduction

A. Designation of City Hazard Mitigation Coordinator

    1.The City of Buffalo Director of Planning has been designated as the City Hazard Mitigation Coordinator.

    2.The City Hazard Mitigation Coordinator is responsible for coordinating City efforts in reducing hazards in City of Buffalo.

    3. All City agencies will participate in risk reduction activities with the City Hazard Mitigation Coordinator.

    4.The Hazard Mitigation Coordinator will participate as a member of the City Emergency Planning Committee and the Damage Assessment Team

    5. The City Hazard Mitigation Officer will work in conjunction with the Erie County Hazard Mitigation Officer. 

B. Identification and Analysis of Potential Hazards

1. The City Emergency Planning Committee consists of:

  • The Disaster Coordinator
  • The Emergency Services Coordinator
  • The Commissioner of Fire or his designee
  • The Commissioner of Police or his designee
  • The Commissioner of the Department of Public Works or his designee
  • The Hazard Mitigation Coordinator

    2. The City Emergency Planning Committee will:

        (a) identify potential hazards in the City
        (b) determine the probable impact each of those hazards could have on people and property
        (c) delineate the geographic areas affected by potential hazards, plot them on maps, and designate them as hazard area
    3. Significant potential hazards to be identified and analyzed include natural, technological, and human-caused hazards.

      4. To comply with (1) and (2) above, hazards that pose a potential threat have been identified and analyzed by the Emergency Planning Committee using the software program HAZNY, provided by the State Emergency Management Office.

      5. This hazard analysis:

        (a) provides a basic method for analyzing and ranking the identified hazards, including identification of geographic areas and populations at risk to specific hazards

        (b) establishes priorities for planning for those hazards receiving a high ranking of significance

        (c) was conducted in accordance with guidance from the New York State Emergency Management Office

        (d) after completion, was submitted to the Region 5 office of SEMO through the Erie County Department of Emergency Services

        (e) is to be reviewed and updated every three years

      6. The rating and ranking results of the hazard analysis are found in Attachment 1.

      7. Paper and computerized maps identifying the location of hazard areas are located in the City of Buffalo Planning Department and Disaster Preparedness Office.

      8. The complete Hazard Analysis results are located in the Disaster Preparedness Office

      C. Risk Reduction Policies, Programs and Reports

      1. City agencies are authorized to:

        (a) promote policies, programs and activities to reduce hazard risks in their area of responsibility

        (b) Examples of the above are:

      • encourage the adoption of comprehensive community development plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and building codes that are cognizant of and take into account significant hazards in the City
      •  encourage lending institutions to require risk reduction as a condition of funding in areas prone to hazards
      • promote compliance with and enforcement of existing laws, regulations, and codes that are related to hazard risks, e,.g., building and fire codes, flood plain regulations
      • encourage and assist water and wastewater treatment plants to replace chlorine use with a safer disinfectant
      • encourage and participate in municipal stream channel maintenance programs

      2. The City of Buffalo Planning Board is responsible for land use management of City - owned land and the review of land use management actions throughout the City, including:

      • authorizing City land use management programs
      • advising and assisting in developing and adopting comprehensive master plans for community development, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations and building codes
      • participation in SEQRA review of proposed projects in the City

      3. In all of the above activities, the City Planning Board will take into account the significant hazards in City of Buffalo.

      4. The City of Buffalo Emergency Planning Committee will identify specific hazard reduction actions that could be taken for those hazards determined by the hazard analysis to be most significant.

      5. For each hazard reduction action identified, the following information is to included by the Planning Team:

        (a) a description of the action

        (b) a statement on the technical feasibility of the action

        (c) the estimated cost of the action

        (d) the expected benefits of the action and the monetary value of each benefit

        (e) an estimate of the level of community support for the action

      6. The information obtained in # 5 above will be consolidated into a Risk Reduction Report.

      7. The Risk Reduction Report will prioritize and make recommendations concerning the identified actions.

      D. Emergency Response Capability Assessment

      1. Periodic assessment of the City 's capability to manage the emergencies that could be caused by the hazards identified in the City is a critical part of Risk Reduction.

      2. The Emergency Planning Committee will, on a tri-annual basis:

      (a) assess the City 's current capability for dealing with those significant hazards that have been identified and analyzed, including but not limited to:

      • the likely time of onset of the hazard
      • the impacted areas' preparedness levels
      • the existence of effective warning systems
      • the areas' means to respond to anticipated casualties and damage

      3. To assist the Planning Committee in its assessment, the Office of Disaster Preparedness will Conduct table-top exercises based upon specific hazards and hazard areas identified by the Committee.

      4. The Committee will identify emergency response shortfalls and make recommendations for implementing corrective actions.

      E. Training of Emergency Personnel

      1. The City of Buffalo Disaster Preparedness Office in coordination with the City Disaster Coordinator, has the responsibility to:

        (a) arrange and provide, with the assistance of the New York State Emergency Management Office, the conduct of training programs for City emergency response personnel as designated by the Disaster Coordinator

        (b) such training programs will:

        • include information on the characteristics of hazards and their consequences and the implementation of emergency response actions including protective measures, notification procedures, and available resources
        • include Incident Command System (ICS) training, focusing on individual roles
        • provide emergency personnel with the variety of skills necessary to help reduce or eliminate hazards and increase their effectiveness to respond to and recover from emergencies of all types
        • be provided in crisis situations, that requires additional specialized training and refresher training

      (c) conduct periodic exercises and drills to evaluate local capabilities and preparedness, including a full scale operational exercise that tests a major portion of the elements and responsibilities in the City Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and regular drills to test readiness of warning and communication equipment; see

      (d) consult with the City departments and agencies, in developing training courses and exercises

      (e) receive technical guidance on latest techniques from state and federal sources as appropriate and request assistance as needed

      2. All City departments and agencies assigned emergency functions, are responsible to develop an in-house training capability in order that departments and agencies further train their employees in their duties and procedures.

      3. Volunteers participating in emergency services such as first aid and other emergency medical services, and Red Cross will be trained by these services in accordance with established procedures and standards

      F. Public Education and Awareness

      1. Buffalo Fire Prevention and Buffalo Police Community Services, in cooperation with the Disaster Coordinator, is responsible for:

        (a) providing education on hazards to the young adult and adult public in the City

        (b) making the public aware of existing hazards in their communities

        (c) familiarizing the public with the kind of protective measures the City has developed to respond to any emergency arising from the hazard

      2. This education will:

        (a) cover all significant hazards

        (b) be available free of charge

        (c) be provided by the existing school systems in the City through arrangements with the superintendent of schools

        (d) be provided through the use of an informational booth at annual Erie County Fair and Exposition

        3. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Red Cross pamphlets, books and kits dealing with all aspects of emergency management and materials developed by New York State Emergency Management Office and other State departments, as appropriate, will be made available for use in the program.

        G. Monitoring of Identified Hazard Areas

        1. The Emergency Planning Committee will develop, with the necessary assistance of other City departments, the capability to monitor identified hazard areas, in order to detect hazardous situations in their earliest stages.

        2. As a hazard's emergence is detected, this information is to be immediately provided to the Disaster Preparedness Office or City Warning Point (851-4443), as appropriate.

        3. When appropriate, monitoring stations may be established regarding specific hazard areas where individuals responsible to perform the monitoring tasks can be stationed.

        4. Monitoring tasks include detecting the hazard potential and taking measurements or observations of the hazard. Examples of such are rising water levels, toxic exposure levels, slope and ground movement, mass gatherings, the formation and breakup of ice jams, shore erosion, and the National Weather Service's Skywarn program.

        5. All City hazard monitoring activity will be coordinated with, and make use of where available private industry and utility companies, and volunteer agencies and individuals, as appropriate.