We will implement land use and design policies that reduce the probability of loss of life and property and expedite response and reconstruction. Emergencies are inevitable and can never be fully prevented. But we will pursue a coordinated program to reduce their probability from avoidable causes and respond effectively when they do occur. We can reduce the probability of emergencies by building code revisions that limit threats from fire, weather, and other disasters; manage vegetation to reduce flammable vegetation around buildings and where urban and rural environments meet; and implementing the recommendations of the Oklahoma City Hazard Mitigation Plan (2012). Some high priority mitigation measures recommended by the plan include construction of safe-rooms and storm shelters, enhanced warning systems for potential hazards, regulation of development in the floodplain, and better stormwater management.

Once emergency situations occur, quick response and rapid access become critical. A well connected transportation network promotes efficient emergency response by providing multiple route options and shorter travel distances between emergency sites and service providers. In catastrophic disasters like floods and tornados, an interconnected street network provides alternative ways in and out of affected areas. Just as the development review process must address public safety through CPTED standards, it should also address fire safety and emergency response criteria, using available sources like the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities.