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Oregon's Natural Hazards

Statewide Planning Goal 7 identifies six natural hazards that are common in Oregon. Local governments are required to plan for these hazards to reduce risk to people and property. The hazards identified in Goal 7 are: floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, coastal erosion, and wildfires. The Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (2015) identifies and addresses five additional hazards: droughts, dust storms, volcanoes, windstorms, and winter storms. Local governments may choose to address other hazards as well.

Learn more about Oregon's natural hazards and how local communities can use land use planning to mitigate risks.

Damaging floods happen in Oregon almost every year. During the five year period beginning 2013 through 2017, Oregon had 400 flood insurance claims under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with reported claims of $6,780,211. Three people died as a result of flood during that same period.

Oregon's floodplain management program aims to reduce flood losses to life and property while at the same time protecting the natural resources and functions of floodplains. As such, Oregon participates in a variety of regional, state and national initiatives, including the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA's Risk MAP and Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs, and the US Army Corps of Engineers' Silver Jackets. Please visit the flood hazard resources listed below to learn more.

"Landslides …are among the most widespread, chronic, and damaging natural hazards in Oregon." (Lidar Data and Landslide Inventory Maps of the North Fork Siuslaw River and Big Elk Creek Watersheds, Lane, Lincoln, and Benton Counties, Oregon, Open File Report O-12-07, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries).

In the most general sense, a landslide is simply the down slope movement (sliding or falling) of soil, rock, or some mixture of the two, under the influence of gravity. Landslides are natural processes. However, they can be triggered or enhanced by one or more of these factors, especially when the factors occur at the same time:

  • Intense or prolonged rainfall or rapid snow melt causing sharp changes in groundwater levels
  • Undercutting of a slope or cliff by erosion or excavation
  • Shocks or vibrations from earthquakes or construction
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Vegetation removal by fires, timber harvesting, or land clearing
  • Placing fill (weight) on steep slopes

When landslides occur they can damage property and impact transportation, stormwater management and other public facilities.

The Oregon Geology Fact Sheet: Landslide Hazards in Oregon describes common landslide types, landslide processes, triggers, available resources, and other important information about landslide hazards.

Contact your local planning department to learn more about land use regulations for developing in landslide hazard areas. To learn more about landslide hazards and your property, contact a registered geologist, a licensed geotechnical engineer, or a certified engineering geologist.

Using Landslide Maps in Planning

Local planning departments may have landslide maps that show steep slopes, soil types, locations of landslides that have occurred previously, and other related information. In addition, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) researches and maps landslides (past events and potential future areas) and assesses landslide risk. The Sta​tewide Landslide Information Database for Oregon (SLIDO)​ is a database of landslides in Oregon that have been identified on published maps. The SLIDO interactive map lets you view information on location, type, and other attributes of the identified landslides. Other landslide-related maps, reports, and resources can be found on DOGAMI's website. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) website also contains information about landslides in Oregon. ODF manages landslide risk in forests to protect public safety.

Landslide Resources

Wildfire is a natural hazard that occurs in Oregon, particularly during the drier months of summer and fall. The combination of ample fuel, dry climate and either lightning or human-caused combustion, means Oregon experiences many wildfires every year.

​​According to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Century Fire History 1911​-2020​​ (updated in October 2020), an estimate of 541,444 ODF protected acres burned in 2020 alone. 2020 was the most devastating year of Oregon wildfires since ODF began tracking. Of the 32 million acres of forestland in Oregon, ODF protects about 16 million acres. Generally, in the last decade, human-caused fires make up about 70% of the fires, yet lightning-caused fires make up about 80% of the acres burned.

Wildfire poses a significant threat to many Oregon communities. Today's Oregonians are even more vulnerable to wildfires because more homes are located at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), areas where development and fire-prone vegetation come together. It has been calculated that there are approximately 240,000 homes located in the WUI (Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, 2015).

For the purposes of mitigation planning, three types of fires are defined: structure fires, wildland fires, and WUI fires.

Structure fires: Structure fires are fires where structures and contents are the primary fire fuel. Structure fires are most often confined to a single structure or location; in some cases, they may spread to adjacent structures.

Wildland fires: Wildland fires are fires where vegetation (grass, brush, trees) is the primary fire fuel - few or no structures are involved. The most common suppression strategy is to contain the fire at its boundaries, to stop the spread of the fire and then to let the fire burn itself out. Fire suppression responsibility is shared by local and state fire agencies.

Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires: The defining characteristics of a WUI are structures built in or immediately adjacent to areas with essentially continuous vegetative fuel loads. WUI fires often spread quickly, and structures can become fuel sources. Fire suppression efforts focus on saving lives and on protecting structures to the extent possible.

Planning for Wildfires

Statewide Planning Goal 4, Forest Lands emphasizes the need to conserve forest resources by maintaining the forest land base. The Goal 4 rules (Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 660, Division 6) contain several provisions designed to protect both forest resources and dwellings located within Oregon's forests.

Oregon's wide stretches of forest can be at risk of wildfire, especially during dry summer and fall months. A bolt of lightning or a smoldering cigarette can cause hundreds of acres of forest land to burn, threatening the lives and homes of those living in and around the forest. Having a plan that responds to wildfire danger is an important part of living in and around Oregon's forests. In planning to reduce the risks from wildfires, counties have taken steps to address wildfire issues. Jurisdictions should include wildfire in their local Natural Hazards Mitigation Plans (NHMPs), and should also prepare Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs). Check with your local government to obtain copies of these plans. In addition to enhancing safety and reducing risk to human structures and watersheds, communities with CWPPs are given priority for U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management funding for hazardous fuels reduction projects as authorized under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003.

Recovering from Wildfires

DLCD serves as the lead for the state's first recovery function (SRF #1): Community Planning and Capacity Building. Staff have worked closely with Federal Emergency Management Agency staff to convene and coordinate recovery efforts since the 2020 Labor Day Fires.

As one building option to help more quickly rehouse and rehome Oregonians, DLCD is a member of the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition focused on accelerating the production of modular mass timber as an industry innovation on Oregon. Coalition members include Business Oregon, the Tallwood Design Institute, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Port of Portland.  As lead applicant, the Port of Portland and the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition were successful in garnering Phase I support from the US Economic Development Administration Build Back Be​tter Regional Challenge​. The Coalition is currently seeking Phase II funds. DLCD's project is customized to support code updates for modular mass timber permitting in ten fire affected communities. ​

Wildfire Legislation – Creating Fire Adapted Communities

On the final day of the 2021 legislative session, the legislature passed Oregon's first comprehensive wildfire preparedness and resiliency bill, Senate Bill 762​. The legislation requires action from multiple agencies to minimize loss of life and property, protect the lives of wildland firefighters, protect and manage Oregon's forests.

Section 11 of SB 762 requires DLCD to write a report to the State Wildfire Programs Advisory Council and the Oregon Legislature that identifies updates to the statewide land use planning program and local comprehensive plans and zoning codes that are needed to incorporate wildfire risk maps and minimize wildfire risk, including the appropriate levels of state and local resources necessary for effective implementation.

The DLCD web page specific to SB 762​ has the most current information about the department process and opportunities to engage.

Wildfire Resources

Since the 1980s, awareness of seismic risk in Oregon has increased significantly. This is due in large part to local events such as the 1993 Scotts Mills earthquake in Clackamas County, Oregon; global events like the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in Indonesia (2004) and Japan (2011); and new research about the massive fault off the Pacific Northwest coast called the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). Unlike earthquake-prone areas of California and Japan where frequent earthquakes have informed the way buildings, roads, and other infrastructure have been designed for many years, earthquakes in Oregon have been infrequent and seismic design standards have not been in place as long. Therefore, it is a big project to do seismic planning and infrastructure retrofitting for all the buildings, roads and other infrastructure in Oregon. However, it is critical for individuals, business, and all levels of government to prepare and plan for an earthquake to protect the lives, property, and environment of Oregon.

Oregon Earthquake Sources

Oregon could experience an earthquake from four possible sources: a Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake, an intraplate earthquake, a crustal earthquake, and an earthquake triggered by volcanic activity.

Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes

The Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) is a 600-mile fault extends from Northern California to British Columbia about 70-100 miles off the Pacific coast shoreline. The Juan de Fuca Plate, Gorda Plate and other smaller plates are being pushed under the crust of North America. This subduction process is responsible for most of the earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest as well as forming the volcanoes in the Cascade Range.

Intraplate Earthquakes

Intraplate quakes occur quite deep in the earth within the subducting oceanic plate. Ground shaking from such earthquakes would be very strong near the epicenter and would be felt throughout Oregon.

Crustal Earthq​uakes

Crustal earthquakes occur within the North American plate, above the subducting plate. These earthquakes may occur on faults mapped as active or potentially active as well as on unmapped (unknown) faults.

Earthquakes fr​om Volcanic Activity

Because the subducting plates and the Cascade Range volcanoes are linked, volcanic activity in the Cascades can trigger seismic activity that could impact other areas.

For more technical information about earthquakes in Oregon, contact the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Planning for E​arthquakes

DLCD strives to help Oregonians prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake by providing resources including the latest data and information.

Earthquake Resources

Tsunamis are a low frequency natural hazard in Oregon and are restricted almost exclusively to coastal areas. Tsunamis are long, high sea waves that are most often caused by the abrupt change in the seafloor accompanying an earthquake. The most common source of the largest tsunamis are from earthquakes that occur at subduction zones like the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), where an oceanic plate descends beneath a continental plate. Other processes that may trigger a tsunami include underwater volcanic eruptions and landslides (including landslides that start below the water surface and landslides that enter a deep body of water from above the water surface). Tsunamis can also travel thousands of miles across ocean basins. Therefore, a coastal area may be susceptible to two different types of tsunamis:

  1. Distant tsunami – from sources across the ocean basin, and
  2. Local tsunami – from sources that occur immediately adjacent to a coast.

Distant tsunamis that may threaten the Oregon Coast are usually generated by a subduction zone earthquake elsewhere in the Pacific. These would take at least 4 hours to reach the Oregon coastline from the closest source, the subduction zone in the Gulf of Alaska. For example, the 1964 Alaska tsunami reached the Oregon Coast in four to five hours. In contrast, a local tsunami generated by a CSZ earthquake, would take about 15-20 minutes to reach most of the Oregon coast.

Most locally-generated tsunamis will have waves that are higher and travel farther inland (over land and up river) than distant tsunamis. By the time the tsunami wave hits the coastline, it may be traveling at 30 mph and have heights of 20 to 80 feet, depending on the local coastal bathymetry (water depths), shape of the shore, and the amount of fault movement on the subduction zone. The tsunami wave will break up into a series of waves that will continue to strike the coast for a day or more, with the most destructive waves arriving in the first 4-5 hours after the local earthquake. As was seen in the 2004 Sumatra tsunami, the first wave to strike the coast is not always the most destructive. This was again the case during the 2011 Japan tsunami.

The coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California are particularly vulnerable to tsunamis from magnitude 9+ earthquakes. There is about a 16-22% chance for a full margin rupture in the next 50 years. Additional, smaller tsunamis and earthquakes occur more frequently along different parts of the subduction zone, especially along the southern Oregon and northern California coasts. (Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, 2015)

Planning for Tsunamis

Guidelines for coastal communities on locating essential community services, like schools, police facilities, hospitals and disaster recovery supplies to avoid tsunami impacts are available from DLCD. We can also help planners determine evacuation routes. Placing signs to mark tsunami zones and evacuation routes along the coast has been an important project for Oregon's coastal communities. DLCD works closely with other state departments like the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to provide tsunami information, grant funding, and technical assistance to local jurisdictions.

In January 2014, DLCD released "Preparing for a Cascadia Subduction Zone Tsunami: A Land Use Guide for Oregon Coastal Communities". It was updated in April 2015. The purpose of the guide is to assist vulnerable communities as they incorporate tsunami resilience measures into their local land use programs. The land use guide is designed to be tailored by each community to address its individual location and tsunami risk. It provides comprehensive information focused on land use planning approaches to reduce tsunami hazard risk and implement important land use resilience measures.

The guide includes:

  • sample tsunami-related comprehensive land use plan text and policies
  • information on needed map amendments
  • a tsunami hazard overlay (THO) zone model to implement resilience measures
  • tsunami land use strategy financing and incentive concepts
  • information on tsunami evacuation facilities improvement planning
  • information relating to pre-disaster community land use planning for a Cascadia event
  • web links to other helpful information

The guide's model comprehensive plan, zoning code and other provisions are designed to be used with DOGAMI's Tsunami Inundation Maps (TIMs).

Tsunami Resources

Volcanic eruptions are potentially destructive natural phenomena. They occur when magma below ground ascends and then discharges onto the earth's surface. Volcanic eruptions are typically focused around a single vent area, but vary widely in explosivity. Therefore volcanic hazards can have far reaching consequences. Volcanic hazards may occur during eruptive episodes or in the periods between eruptions. Eruptive events may include pyroclastic surges and flows, ashfall, lava flows, or slurries of mud and debris known as lahars. Eruptions may last days-to-weeks or years, and have the potential to dramatically alter the landscape for decades. (Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, 2015)

In general, volcanic hazards are commonly divided into those that occur in proximal (near the volcano) and distal (far from the volcano) hazard zones. In the distal hazard zone, volcanic activity includes lahars (volcanic mudflows or debris flows) and fallout of ash. In the proximal hazard zone, activity can be much more devastating and includes rapidly moving pyroclastic flows (glowing avalanches), lava flows, and landslides. Each eruption is a unique combination of hazards. Not all hazards will be present in all eruptions, and the degree of damage will vary. It is important to know that during an active period for a volcano, many individual eruptions may occur and each eruption can vary in intensity and length. For example, while Mount St. Helens is best known for its catastrophic May 1980 eruption, periodic eruptions of steam and ash and the growth of a central lava dome have continued to pose a hazard since that time.

Unlike other geologic hazards (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis), impending eruptions are often foreshadowed by a number of precursors including ground movements, earthquakes, and changes in heat output and volcanic gases. Scientists use these clues to recognize a restless volcano and to prepare for events that may follow. Hazards occurring between eruptive periods are typically related to earthquakes or natural erosion, which may trigger debris avalanches or debris flows on the flanks of the volcano. Such events often occur without warning.

Potentially hazardous volcanoes in Oregon are present along the crest of the Cascade Range and to a much lesser extent in the High Lava Plains. The volcanoes within these regions provide some of Oregon’s most spectacular scenery and popular recreational areas, yet the processes that led to their formation also present significant challenges and hazards to communities within the region. The catastrophic eruption of Washington's Mount St. Helens in 1980 demonstrates both the power and detrimental consequences that volcanoes can have on the region. Lessons learned at Mount St. Helens led the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) in Vancouver, Washington. Scientists at CVO continually monitor volcanic activity within the Cascade Range and in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), study the geology of volcanic terrains in Oregon.

Planning for Volcanic Hazards

DLCD strives to help Oregonians prepare for the possibility of a volcanic eruption by providing resources, including the latest data and information and how to prepare an NHMP. DOGAMI and the Office of Emergency Management assist local governments with developing volcano coordination plans and provide information and resources.

Volcano Resources

Scientists are continually refining their understanding of the potentially catastrophic forces of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as the more gradual effects of climate change on the coast. The vulnerability of coastal communities to chronic and catastrophic forces is a concern to those who live, work, and recreate in those communities, and to public officials responsible for community safety and well-being. These natural hazards and their impacts can be magnified by the coastal environment. For this reason, coastal hazards are called out specifically in the Oregon NHMP.

There are two kinds of coastal hazards, catastrophic and chronic. Catastrophic hazards are regional in scale and scope, such as the massive Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquakes with severe ground shaking, subsidence, landsliding, liquefaction, and tsunamis. Catastrophic events are inherently difficult to predict and have only recently become a principal concern for coastal communities.

Chronic hazards are more local in occurrence and impact, are usually present over the course of a year, and may result in damage to life and property that, although sometimes dramatic, is limited in scope and severity. Chronic hazards include river and ocean flooding from storms, bluff and beach erosion, landslides on steep slopes, or windstorms. The wide distribution and frequent occurrence of chronic hazards make them a more immediate concern.

There are many dangers inherent in living on the coast. While coastal bluffs gradually erode over the long-term, they can also respond very rapidly, at times sliding away (in a matter of minutes to a few hours) so that homes and sections of highways are damaged or destroyed. Beaches are especially dynamic features, as sand is constantly shifted about. This is especially noticeable in major storms, with the shoreline retreating rapidly, periodically destroying homes built close to the sea. At other times, large quantities of sand migrate back onto beaches, burying homes built atop coastal dunes. There is no location on the Oregon coast that is immune to coastal hazards.

Without question, the most important natural variables that influence changes to the shape and width of the beach and ultimately its stability are the beach sand budget (balance of sand entering and leaving the system) and the processes (waves, currents, tides, and wind) that drive the changes.

Human influences associated with jetty construction, dredging practices, coastal engineering, and the introduction of non-native dune grasses have all affected the shape and configuration of the beach, including the volume of sand on a number of Oregon's beaches, ultimately influencing the stability or instability of these beaches.

Planning for Coastal Erosion

Cities and counties are required to account for areas subject to natural hazards in comprehensive plans and associated ordinances. On the coast, planning for coastal hazards is guided by Statewide Planning Goal 17: Coastal Shorelands; Goal 18: Beaches and Dunes; and Goal 7: Areas Subject to Natural Hazards (which covers earthquake and tsunami). These goals require local governments to identify and plan for the dynamic and potentially hazardous nature of coastal areas, particularly along the ocean.

Goal 17: Coastal Shorelands
The purpose of Goal 17 is "to conserve, protect, develop, and, where appropriate, restore the resources and benefits of all coastal shorelands." In addition to its conservation objectives for protecting various shoreland habitats, Goal 17 aims to reduce hazards to human life and property.

Local governments are required to delineate a Coastal Shoreland Planning Area that includes lands subject to ocean flooding and within 100' of the ocean shore or within 50' of an estuary or coastal lake, and adjacent to areas of geologic instability related to or impacting a coastal water body.

Goal 18: Beaches and Dunes
Goal 18 is designed "to conserve, protect, and where appropriate, develop, and restore the resources and benefits of coastal beach and dune areas." The goal also aims to reduce hazards to human life and property from natural or human-induced actions associated with these areas.

Areas subject to Goal 18 include beaches, active dune forms, recently stabilized dune forms, older stabilized dune forms and interdune forms. Uses shall be based on the capabilities and limitations of beach and dune areas to sustain different levels of use or development, and the need to protect areas of critical environmental concern, areas having scenic, scientific, or biological importance, and significant wildlife habitat as identified through application of Goal 5 (Natural Resources) and Goal 17 (Coastal Shorelands).

Local governments are required to inventory beaches and dunes and describe the stability, movement, groundwater resource, hazards and values of the beach, dune, and interdune areas. Local governments must then apply appropriate beach and dune policies for use.

Coastal Hazar​ds Resources

Winter storms are among nature's most impressive spectacles. The combination of heavy snow, ice accumulation, and extreme cold can totally disrupt modern civilization, closing down roads and airports, creating power outages, and downing telephone and internet lines. Winter storms remind us how vulnerable we are to nature's awesome powers. Wind in winter storms can be so strong as to be considered its own hazard; see below. Heavy precipitation associated with winter storms sometimes leads to flooding. Rain on snow events can also lead to flooding.

Planning for Winter Storms

Winter storms in Oregon often have a regional impact. When they do, Presidential Disaster Declarations result in federal mitigation dollars flowing to multiple local jurisdictions. Priority for funding is given to these "declared" jurisdictions, particularly those with related mitigation actions specified in their FEMA-approved NHMPs and ready to take action.

Windstorm events in Oregon include the wind aspects of Pacific storm events. Winds specifically associated with heavy snow, ice accumulation, and extreme cold are considered part of winter storms. High winds can be among the most destructive weather events in Oregon. The impacts of these storms on the state are influenced by storm location, intensity, and local terrain. They are especially common in the exposed coastal regions and in the mountains of the Coast Range. Most official wind observations in Oregon are sparse, taken at low-elevation locations where both the surface friction and the blocking action of the mountain ranges substantially decrease the speed of surface winds. Furthermore, there are few long-term reliable records of wind available. Even the more exposed areas of the coast are lacking in any long-term set of wind records (Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, 2015).

From unofficial, but reliable observations, it is reasonable to assume that gusts well above 100 mph occur several times each year across the higher ridges of the Coast and Cascades Ranges. At the most exposed Coast Range ridges, it is estimated that wind gusts of up to 150 mph and sustained speeds of 110 mph will occur every 5–10 years. The Columbia Gorge also has windstorms and is frequently subject to high speed winds. Storms that can produce high winds are often are accompanied by significant precipitation and low barometric pressure. These storms are most common from October through March.

Planning for Windstorms

Land use approaches for reducing damage from windstorms are limited. They focus on locating buildings and other structures where they cannot be damaged from downed trees or power lines. Power lines may be located underground to avoid the potential for being blown down. Building codes provide standards for avoiding structural damage, for example blown-away roofs and shattered windows.

A dust storm is a strong, violent wind that carries fine particles such as silt, sand, clay, and other materials, often for long distances. The fine particles swirl around in the air during the storm. A dust storm can spread over hundreds of miles and rise over 10,000 feet. They have wind speeds of at least 25 miles per hour. Dust storms usually arrive with little warning and move in the form of a big wall of dust and debris. The dust is blinding, making driving safely a challenge. A dust storm may last only a few minutes at any given location, but often leaves serious car accidents in its wake. (Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, 2015) Over the past 40 years in Oregon, more than ten people have been killed and more than 60 injured due to automobile accidents caused by dust storms.

Dust storms occur most frequently over deserts and regions of dry soil, where particles are loosely bound to the surface. They also happen in any dry area where loose dirt can easily be picked up by wind. Approximately half of the dust in today's atmosphere may result from changes to the environment caused by human activity, including agriculture, overgrazing, and the cutting of forests. Data from dust traps near urban areas like Las Vegas show that the spread of housing and other human construction across the desert directly causes increases in dust storms by destabilizing the surface and vegetation.

Planning for Dust Storms

There are no effective land use planning approaches to mitigate the impacts of dust storms. In recent years, advances in agricultural techniques that minimize soil destabilization have been very effective in reducing the frequency and severity of dust storms.

Despite its rainy reputation, the state of Oregon is often confronted with continuing challenges associated with drought and water scarcity. Precipitation in Oregon follows a distinct spatial and temporal pattern; it tends to fall mostly in the cool season (October–March). The Cascade Mountains block rain-producing weather patterns, creating a very arid and dry environment east of these mountains. Moist air masses originating from the Pacific Ocean cool and condense when they encounter the mountain range, depositing precipitation primarily on the inland valleys and coastal areas.

Oregon's water-related challenges are greater than just the temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation in Oregon. A rapidly growing population in the American West has placed a greater demand on this renewable, yet finite resource. The two terms, drought and water scarcity, are not necessarily synonymous. Water scarcity implies that demand for water is exceeding the supply. The combined effects of drought and water scarcity are far-reaching and merit special consideration.

Planning for Droughts

A study by the Multi-Hazard ​Mitigation Council​ shows that each dollar spent on mitigation saves an average of four dollars overall. Planning ahead is generally seen as more efficient and more effective than actions taken during a drought.

Since the late 1980s, Oregon has spent most of its focus on response planning and related activities. Several states, including California, are focusing more closely on mitigation planning efforts. The state of Colorado has a combined Drought Mitigation and Response Plan​, which provides a thoughtful working model for other states that are developing their own vision of drought resiliency.

The National Integrated Drought Information System is a program authorized by Congress in 2006 to coordinate and integrate drought research and create a national drought early warning information system.

Regional early warning systems have been developed through partnerships with other federal, state, regional, local and private entities with the goal of helping stakeholders in the region cope with drought.

These systems explore and demonstrate a variety of early warning and drought risk reduction strategies that incorporate drought monitoring and prediction information. The Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System launched in February 2016 includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, the western portion of Montana that feeds into the Columbia River Basin, and British Columbia. Oregon representatives are participating in this group to learn about how other states in the Pacific Northwest are collecting drought-related information and using that to design drought plans, resiliency actions, and guide policy development. (Oregon's 2017 Integrated Water Resources Strategy, Mucken, A., & Bateman, B. (Eds.). 2017. Oregon's 2017 Integrated Water Resources Strategy. Oregon Water Resources Department. Salem, OR)

Drought Resources

Hazard Data and Tools

DLCD currently supports a hazards portal for related planning information on natural hazards, as well as an online web application that allows users to explore GIS data depicting natural hazards in the state. The Hazards Reporter was funded by DLCD and built in collaboration with Oregon State University and the Institute for Natural Resources. It allows you to obtain reports on hazards for specific areas and access hazards data from multiple state and federal agencies. Additionally, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) built a statewide hazards viewer, HazVu, that provides information on a variety of geologic hazards in Oregon.