The Washington County All Hazard Mitigation Plan is an umbrella plan that encompasses the input of the local municipalities and the general public. Mitigation begins at the local level in communities, boroughs, and cities where impacts of damaging events are first felt. Local mitigation planning focuses community attention on development issues prior to a disaster, ensuring participation in a more proactive sense. Through participation in the hazard mitigation planning process, local entities will posses the capability to identify, take advantage of, and implement mitigation strategies. Active hazard mitigation in a community also contributes to public safety and welfare, economic development, and environmental protection.