Flooding, Earthquakes, Drought: Kane County Seeks Public's Help to Update Natural Hazards Plan

Flooding, Earthquakes, Drought: Kane County Seeks Public’s Help to Update Natural Hazards Plan

An aerial shot from the 1996 in Kane County.

Flooding. Erosion,. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Ice storms. Thunderstorms. Drought. Extreme heat.

Kane County is no stranger to natural disasters and no less vulnerable to climate change than other part of the world.

For that reason, Kane County has, for decades, had a plan in place to identify risks and to take action to mitigate the often devastating impacts.

The document, called Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, was last revised in 2015 — and county officials are asking for your help to bring it up to date.

To that end, the Natural Hazards Mitigation Committee for Kane County is holding two Zoom meetings to discuss the 2015 Plan. The meetings are set for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, and at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Attendees are asked to send an R.S.V.P. to Anne Wilford at WilfordAnne@co.kane.il.us.

If you are unable to attend, Wilford invites you to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns by email to WilfordAnne@co.kane.il.us.

The county’s update to the plan will address the following hazards:

  • Flooding
  • Erosion
  • Dam/Levee Failure
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Winter/Ice Storms
  • Thunderstorms
  • Drought
  • Extreme Heat

The committee’s goals are to:

  1. Protect the lives and health of the citizens of Kane County from the effects of natural hazards.
  2. Encourage self-help and self-protection measures to mitigate the effects of natural hazards on private property.
  3. Protect critical facilities and public infrastructure with public funds.
  4. Identify specific projects to mitigate damage where cost-effective and affordable.
  5. Reduce the number of repetitively damaged existing structures

Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan FAQs

What is a Natural Hazard?

  • “Hazard means an event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss”  -FEMA 1997

When we talk about Natural Hazards we are referring to those hazards that occur naturally. These hazards might include geological hazards (such earthquakes or volcanos), meteorological hazards (such as heat waves, freezing rains or hurricanes) or hydrological hazards (like floods and droughts). Biological hazards such as infectious diseases (like COVID-19 virus), are not considered part of the Natural Hazards in the Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning process.

What is Hazard Mitigation?

  • “Any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long term-term risk to human life and property from a hazard event.” –FEMA

Some examples include:

  • Acquisition of Floodplain properties to convert to Open Space
  • Elevating homes in the Floodplain so the first floor is above the 100 year flood elevation
  • Dry Flood proofing businesses that are flood prone areas
  • Building Safe Rooms to be used in the event of a Tornado

More information about Natural Hazards and Mitigation Ideas can be found here: https://mountainland.org/maps/hazard/fema_mitigation.pdf

What is Hazard Mitigation Planning?

  • “Engaging in any process to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events.” -FEMA
  • “Hazard mitigation activities may be implemented prior to, during, or after an event.   However, it has been demonstrated that hazard mitigation is most effective when based on an inclusive, comprehensive, long‐term plan that is developed before a disaster occurs.”– FEMA

What does a Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan look like?

Federal Regulations governing the plan are given in the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.

This Act establishes eligibility for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance and the requirement for local governments to have a Hazard Mitigation Plan submitted and reviewed by the State and FEMA. Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CF) 201.6 publishes requirements of the Plan.

The Kane County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan was first adopted in 2003 by the County Board Resolution 03-308 and is updated every five years. The Plan is a multi-jurisdictional plan. See below for a chart of the communities that have adopted the County’s Plan and are part of the Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning Committee.

The Plan involves a risk assessment of the Natural Hazards that can affect the County, previous events that have occurred and the probability of the future hazard events occurring. The Plan considers the impact of these hazards on the community.

The Plan must consider the assets of the community including people, the economy, structures, critical facilities, infrastructure and the natural environment. The Plan also considers the capabilities of the community such as planning documents and regulations, administrative and technical expertise, funding resources, and education and community outreach.

The following is a list of the municipalities that passed a resolution adopting the September 2003 Plan.


Date Passed

Algonquin, Village of


Aurora, City of


Batavia, City of


Big Rock, Village of


Burlington, Village of


Campton Hills, Village of


Carpentersville, Village of


East Dundee, Village of


Elburn, Village of


Elgin, City of


Geneva, City of


Gilberts, village of


Hampshire, Village of


Huntley, Village of


Lily Lake, Village of


Maple Park, Village of


Montgomery, Village of


North Aurora, Village of


Sleepy Hollow, Village of


South Elgin, Village of


St. Charles, City of


Sugar Grove, Village of


Virgil, Village of


Wayne, Village of


West Dundee, Village of


SOURCE: Natural Hazards Mitigation Committee for Kane County news release