The Cleveland Gaston Lincoln Region is located in the western part of North Carolina and includes Cleveland, Gaston, and Lincoln counties and the municipal governments within those counties. This area is vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards, most notably severe winter weather, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and flooding. It is also vulnerable to human-caused hazards, including nuclear accidents and hazardous substances. These hazards threaten the life and safety of residents in the Cleveland Gaston Lincoln Region and have the potential to damage or destroy both public and private property, disrupt the local economy, and impact the overall quality of life of individuals who live, work, and vacation in the region.
While the threat from hazardous events may never be fully eliminated, there is much we can do to lessen their potential impact upon our communities and our citizens. By minimizing the impact of hazards upon our built environment, we can prevent such events from resulting in disasters. The concept and practice of reducing risks to people and property from known hazards are generally referred to as hazard mitigation.