What’s in a Safety Element?
The Safety Element is a required element of the General Plan by the State. The goal of the Safety Element is to reduce the potential short and long-term risk of death, injuries, property damage, and economic and social dislocation resulting from fires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, and other hazards. State law requires jurisdictions to update the Safety Element upon the next revision of the Housing Element. The major hazards that could impact Monterey Park include:
- Floods from reservoir failure
- Climate change
What is the chance of an earthquake?
Monterey Park lies in a region with several active faults and therefore is subject to the risks and hazards associated with earthquakes. The USGS database shows that there is a 96% chance of a major earthquake within 32 miles of Monterey Park within the next 50 years. The largest earthquake that occurred near Monterey Park was the Northridge Earthquake which resulted in a 6.7 Magnitude in 1994.
Can earthquakes trigger landslides?
Earthquake-induced landslides are secondary earthquake hazards that occur as a result of ground shaking. Historically, hillsides in Monterey Park have experienced slope failure during significant rainstorms and earthquakes. For example, steep hillslopes along Abajo Drive failed as a result of the 1987 Whittier Earthquake and have continued to present concerns and threats to private properties and public streets.
Is Monterey Park at risk of flooding?
There are two water facilities that have the potential to result in flooding impacts. Garvey Reservoir, owned by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, stores municipal water supplies for customers. The Laguna Basin is a flood control facility that is part of the regional system maintained by Los Angeles County. A major seismic event has the potential to result in dam failure or to cause major water wave motion that causes water to slosh over the barrier containing the water body and flow onto surrounding properties. A leak of the Garvey Reservoir in 1990 resulted in the flooding of a dozen homes on Fulton Avenue in Monterey Park.
How will climate change impact Monterey Park?
Climate change is a change in global and regional climate patterns, attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. Climate change is projected to continue affecting Monterey Park. Monterey Park is expected to experience the following climate hazards:
- More extreme and more frequent severe weather events, including heavier rains, could increase storm flooding from backed-up storm drains.
- More frequent and higher temperature extreme heat days. Monterey Park has experienced extreme heatwaves every summer since 2017.
Worsening air quality as a result of higher temperatures and more frequent regional wildland fires.
- Decreased water availability as a result of extended periods of dry weather and less rain impacting groundwater supply.
How is the City preparing for these risks?
The City of Monterey Park is aware of the hazards that face the City and regularly identifies capital improvements, programs, and educational campaigns to prepare for disasters. The City’s Fire Department maintains a community emergency response team that provides training resources for community members to prepare for disasters.
As part of the Safety Element update, new programs will be identified to prepare for the effects of climate change. Check out the Get Involved page to find out about upcoming workshops and events.