Climate resilience is the ability to prepare for, recover from, and adapt to the impacts of natural hazards that are becoming more frequent and more severe due to climate change. Resiliency and preparedness are considered in many of the County’s existing plans and policies including the Emergency Operations Plan, Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and Silicon Valley 2.0.

 

The County of Santa Clara is committed to ongoing collaboration to implement climate adaptation work and to mitigate climate hazards. By integrating resiliency improvements into the County’s operations and infrastructure, the County can be better positioned to help the community withstand, manage, and recover from future disasters, both climate and otherwise. The County will also participate in regional and countywide efforts to increase resilience for residents, businesses, community-serving organizations, neighborhoods, and habitats.

Goal #2: Associated Policies and Plans

How will we get there?

Understanding the climate hazards facing Santa Clara County and identifying the vulnerable assets, locations, and populations are essential to determining priority projects that will help create a resilient County. The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and Silicon Valley 2.0, a climate adaptation tool and guidebook for the County’s cities and unincorporated areas will be revisited and updated regularly to reflect evolving climate science and the changing conditions in the County, as well as including already implemented adaptation and mitigation measures.

The County will update the safety element of its General Plan to be in compliance with California’s Senate Bill 379 by 2022 and conduct vulnerability and risk assessments and develop resiliency policy guidance for County properties, assets, and operations. The County will also work to reduce its own susceptibility to disasters and stressors by monitoring and implementing its Continuity of Operations Plan.

Strategy 2.1 Targets and Key Performance Indicators

County Operations and Facilities Target:

  • Climate risks to be considered in all County-owned and operated assets, design and construction projects, and property acquisitions by 2025.

Unincorporated County Target:

  • Climate risks and resilience strategies to be incorporated into the County General Plan and planning regulations to address new development projects by 2030.

Existing Programs, Policies, and Activities:

  • Regularly update and report out on County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and emergency management plans, studies, and reports, incorporating new data and information about hazards and the effectiveness of mitigation and preparedness strategies

  • LAFCO’s review of public safety and wildfire impacts

  • Silicon Valley 2.0

  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Plan Bay Area 2040

  • Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Resilience Program

  • San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) Adapting to Rising Tides ​

Recognizing that climate hazards don’t follow jurisdictional boundaries, the County believes it is important to participate in regional, countywide and cross-jurisdictional collaborations working to increase community resilience. This is especially crucial for adapting infrastructure for climate change impacts like sea level rise and reducing the risk for regional climate hazards like wildfires.

The County will continue participating in the Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network, BCDC’s Adapting to Rising Tides program of adaptation tools and information, and other coalitions and programs. It will coordinate directly with cities throughout Santa Clara County for planning purposes and to increase public awareness of climate vulnerabilities, especially with diverse stakeholders and residents who are part of historically marginalized communities. The County will also improve its ability to provide timely information to help connect community members with relevant supportive resources during and following a disaster (e.g., cooling centers and resiliency hubs).

Strategy 2.3 Targets and Key Performance Indicators

Existing Programs, Policies, and Activities:

  • Emergency Preparedness Training & Resource Materials and Disaster Services Guide for Immigrants

  • Safety and resilience grants management

  • Collaborating Agencies' Disaster Relief Effort

  • Bay Area Joint Information System (JIS) participation

  • Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC) participation

  • Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network (BayCAN) participation

  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) participation

County Operations and Facilities Target:

  • Create resilience networks that provide education and awareness building on climate impacts and risks.

  • Update and maintain a climate vulnerability and adaptation interactive web-based tool.

Strategy 2.3 - Regional Collaboration and Training

Coordinate countywide and cross-jurisdictional resilience efforts with leaders from diverse sectors through ongoing collaboration, communication, and education.

Climate change has already increased the frequency and severity of natural disasters like flooding, wildfire, extreme heat days, and drought, and this trend will continue to accelerate. As such, the County of Santa Clara is continually working to increase the skills and abilities of both employees and residents to prepare for and respond to hazards. The County will also increase availability and use of microgrids and battery storage to ensure resilience during peak load events or disasters.  

The County’s Office of Emergency Management and the Public Health Department will continue coordinating with other County departments and community-based agencies to inform and educate the public about disasters and hazards and to increase community preparedness.

Strategy 2.2 Targets and Key Performance Indicators

Existing Programs, Policies, and Activities:

  • Emergency Operations Center

  • AlertSCC, Free Family Preparedness App, Twelve Month Emergency Preparedness Calendar, Cold Weather Safety Information

  • Public Health Department Emergency Preparedness

  • Prescribed Fire Program

  • Medical Health Joint Operations Center

  • Mass vaccination events

  • Hospital preparedness coalition

County Operations and Facilities Target:

  • At-risk critical infrastructure and service facilities to be identified and hardened or relocated to avoid hazards.

  • Install at least five microgrids by 2025 at the County’s most critical operations, such as the Emergency Operations Centers and County Communications.

Strategy 2.2 - Emergency Prepardness and Response

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Increase preparedness and resilience to respond to the shocks or

stressors that impact Santa Clara County and the services it provides.

Goal #2. Resilient and Prepared County