What is the Safety Element?
The Safety Element, a chapter of the General Plan, contains goals and policies to reduce the potential short and long-term risk of death, injuries, property damage, economic damage, and social dislocation from earthquakes, floods, fires, and other hazardous events in the County’s unincorporated areas. Examples of Safety Element policies include discouraging building on earthquake faults, ensuring essential public facilities are maintained during natural disasters, and supporting a more resilient electricity grid.
Why are we updating the Safety Element?
Riverside County’s Planning Department is updating the Safety Element to incorporate climate adaptation and resiliency strategies, as required by California Senate Bill 379 and SB 1035. The Safety Element update has been developed to address climate change and applicable resiliency strategies to fulfill these mandates. In addition, the Safety Element update addresses evacuation routes, and constraints, as required by SB 99 and Assembly Bill 747.
Why is this important?
In recent years, wildfires have been increasing in frequency and intensity in Riverside County, while extreme heat events have broken temperature records and become longer in duration. These trends are expected to continue, which will result in placing more communities at risk of harm. To address these new climate trends and resulting environmental conditions, the Safety Element Update will identify steps that local communities can take to reduce the risks posed by wildfire, flooding, extreme heat, and other climate impacts.