Prior to the spring of 1996, many of the agencies that now comprise the State IHMT each had hazard mitigation responsibilities, but were convened as a group only following Presidentially-declared major disasters in order to work with their federal and local government counterparts on the development of Interagency Hazard Mitigation Team Reports or Hazard Mitigation Survey Team Reports.
Governor Kitzhaber convened a hazard mitigation policy task group following the February 1996 floods. It met several times during the spring of 1996.
The current membership of the State IHMT grew out of the events of the disastrous autumn and winter of 1996/1997, initially with emphasis on mitigating fast-moving debris flows like those that led to the loss of eight lives in Douglas County that winter. On March 4, 1997, Governor Kitzhaber directed OEM to “make the...Interagency Hazard Mitigation Team a permanent body. Direct the team to establish regular meeting dates...”
Today the member agencies of the State IHMT generally meet quarterly to understand losses arising from natural hazards, and coordinate recommended strategies to mitigate loss of life, property, and natural resources.