Emergency Management & GIS / Rural Addressing

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198 Neel Avenue

Socorro NM 87801

Gail Tripp

Emergency Manager

575-835-2029 x1200


Elaine Briggs

GIS Specialist/Rural Addresser

575-838-5700 x1251


Jerry Wheeler

Emergency Coordinator

575-835-2029 x1206


Bear Albrecht


575-835-2029 x1204


Jose Gonzalez

Animal Control/Ordinance Officer

575-835-2029 x1207


The Emergency Management Office is responsible for planning the responses to small- and large-scale emergency situations to save lives, reduce injuries, and preserve property.

Emergencies and disasters, both natural and man-made, can affect every resident in Socorro County. Sometimes there are threats that we simply cannot control or prevent from happening, such as wildfires, hazardous-material spills, and riots.

The office of Emergency Management includes the following departments & groups:

  • Floodplain Manager

  • Communications Coordinator

  • Fire Marshal's Office

  • Firewise Program

  • GIS/Mapping Department & 911 Data Management

  • Animal Control/Ordinance Compliance

  • Community Emergency Response Team

  • Socorro County Citizen's Corp Council (SCCCC)

Emergency Management Operations & Plans

Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Socorro County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) has facilities in the Emergency Operations Center, 198 Neel Ave. in Socorro.

Regular Nets:
State: First Sundays, 3939 LSB, 5 PM winter, 7 PM summer. If the first Sunday is a holiday, moved to second Sunday.

DEC (District Emergency Coordinator) Al Braun AC5BX — 575-835-3370 (w); 835-1061 (h)
EC (Emergency Coordinator) Jim Lommen KC7QY — 575-838-0091
County Liaison: Bear Albrecht W5VZB — 575-835-2029 ext 1204 (office), 505-573-9350 (mobile)

Community Emergency Response Team

Geographical: Socorro County
87823, 87801, 87011, 87602, 87828, 87825, 87028, 87062

(Polvadera, San Antonio, City of Socorro, Magdalena, Veguita, La Joya, Claunch)

Training Programs

Local CERT Programs offer training to the general public and/or to particular groups in the community. This CERT Program holds classes for the following groups:

  • General public / Open classes

  • Language(s) in which the program conducts CERT training: English

  • Supplemental Training

This program offers & requires supplemental training in addition to the CERT Basic Training Course.

The training conducted, recommended, and/or required for CERT members is:

  • IS-100.a Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS)

  • IS-200.a ICS for Single Resources

  • IS-700.a National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction

  • IS-800.b National Response Framework, An Introduction

  • Additional CBRNE awareness

  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

  • Automatic External Defibrillation (AED)

  • Basic first aid

Open to all adults. Youth 12 to 17 may attend with parent or adult guardian. Oldest 87 at time of training, youngest 12. Supplemental training encouraged, but not required.

County of Socorro Fire and Emergency Management
198 Neel Ave
Socorro, NM 87801


CERT Documents

Floodplain Management


Mark Mercer

Floodplain Manager

575-835-2029 x1202
fax: 575-835-2700


GIS / Rural Addressing

aerial  photo of Black Mesa in Socorro County

Aerial photo of Black Mesa

Elaine Briggs

GIS Specialist/Rural Addresser

575-838-5700 ext 1251


GIS and Rural Addressing Forms

Hazard Mitigation Plan

Socorro County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

In 2009, Socorro County, the City of Socorro, the Village of Magdalena, and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology partnered together with State and Federal Emergency Management agencies to compile a comprehensive plan to reduce losses to property and injury to people in our community from the devastation caused by natural hazards.

Utilizing publications from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) called “How-To Guides,” the Mitigation Planning Group organized into a cohesive unit and tackled the task at hand.

They endeavored to identify all hazards; profile the hazard events; assess local vulnerabilities; estimate potential losses; assess capability of their organizations; and identify, analyze, and prioritize mitigation measures. The whole time they were gathering information by referencing the records, they also involved the public by gaining their knowledge of natural hazard events and their ideas on what could be done to alleviate their nefarious effects. A natural result of documenting all of this activity was the creation we now call the Socorro County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Each of the organizations involved in the Plan showed they were serious about decreasing these losses by formally adopting the Plan into their official ordinances.

Plan Update

The Socorro County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan seeks to identify the natural hazards that impact our community, identify actions to reduce losses from those hazards, and establishes a coordinated process to implement the plan. Plan partners are Socorro County, the City of Socorro, New Mexico Tech, the Village of Magdalena and Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

The Socorro County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, is a living document. It is more of a reflection of the concern of our communities’ elected representatives than it is merely words on paper. They saw - and were moved - by the damage; then they went about to diminish its painful effects.

Periodic updates are patently a requirement. Due to the fact that the parameters of the Plan Update are numerous and complex, the same steps must be taken to gather the current information as were used in the outset.

The Federal laws that govern Natural Hazard Mitigation Funding, The Stafford Act (as amended), and The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, require that Local Mitigation Plans be in place and updated every five years in order to receive Federal funding for hazard mitigation projects. The Mitigation Planning Group seeks the input and feedback of organizations and those living in Socorro County in order to properly update the Plan. This web page is one of the vehicles through which we can receive this valuable information from you. Please allow this Update to perform as it aspires by using this site to communicate with us.

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District has joined with the original four local partner organizations in their efforts to make natural disasters less severe.


Michael A. Hawkes

County Manager


Gail Tripp

Emergency Manager


Jerry Wheeler

ES Coordinator



Ruth Horowitz

HazMat Director


Dan Lunceford

IT Director


Village of Magdalena

Richard Rumpf



Francesca Gutierrez




Yasmeen Najmi



Hazard Mitigation Documents

Natural Hazards


Overview – Drought in Socorro County, New Mexico
Drought is a condition of climatic dryness that reduces soil moisture, water or snow levels below the minimum necessary for sustaining plant, animal, and economic systems. Drought conditions are usually not uniform over the entire state. Local and regional differences in weather, soil condition, geology, vegetation, and human influence need to be considered when assessing the impact of drought on any particular location.

Previous Occurrence – Drought
Identified as a concern by each jurisdiction, no previous drought data exists from those jurisdictions. According to the NCDC, no drought events have been recorded for the county between January 1, 1950 and August 31, 2010. Figures 18 and 19 identify the average amount of precipitation received in Socorro County and just how little precipitation the county receives.

Socorro County relies upon groundwater for potable water. Current diversion for agricultural uses is approximately 50,000 acre-feet per year. At current consumption rates, the aquifer will continue to yield good water for another 120 years. A severe prolonged drought would greatly impact the entire County’s ability to provide potable water from groundwater sources.

Identified in the NMDHSEM HMP (2007), the state has experienced droughts since prehistoric times with extended drought conditions evidently causing the collapse of many early civilizations. Periods of drought since 1950 have been documented during 1950-1957, 1963- 1964, 1976-1978, 1989, 1996, 1998-1999, 1999-2003, 2003-2006. In the last 100 years, New

Mexico has suffered from four devastating periods of drought; 1900-1910, 1931-1941, 1942- 1956, and 1974-1979. A short-term drought was identified that lasted from October 2005 to July 2006. Between 1995 and May 2007, there were three state declared disasters for effects related to drought, primarily for loss of domestic drinking water: May 1996, May 2000, and June 2002. The total cost for drought related events for this time period is $279,459. However, indirect costs are estimated to be between $50 to 100 Million.


Overview – Earthquake in Socorro County, New Mexico
Earthquakes result from sudden ground motion or trembling caused by a release of strain accumulated within or along the edge of the Earth’s crustal plates. Earthquakes occur most frequently in the boundaries between the great crustal plates that form the earth's outer shell. As these plates move, stress accumulates. Eventually, when faults along or near plate boundaries slip abruptly, an earthquake occurs. Although earthquakes in the United States have caused less economic loss annually than other hazards, they have the potential to cause great, sudden loss in proximity to the epicenter. Within one to two minutes, an earthquake can devastate a city through ground-shaking, surface-fault ruptures, and ground failures. Seismic hazards often trigger other devastating events, such as landslides, fires, and damage to dams and levees.

New Mexico is a moderately seismically active region, with earthquakes occurring in most parts of the state. The Socorro area has been the most active earthquake region of New Mexico during at least the past 150 years. During the past 45 years, approximately 50% of the seismic energy generated by earthquakes in New Mexico has been released in a region centered near Socorro, encompassing only about 2% of the state's total land area. This relatively high rate of earthquake activity in the Socorro region is due to an inflating sill of molten rock (magma) that is roughly 1300 square miles in area and sits approximately 12 miles beneath the surface of the fault-bounded Rio Grande rift.

Commercial and residential buildings, as well as critical care and first responder facilities can be toppled or severely damaged during an earthquake. Transportation routes can be damaged or destroyed. Utilities and infrastructure are also vulnerable to damage/destruction by earthquakes. Death and injuries that directly result from earthquakes are unlikely but they can occur indirectly when structures collapse. Casualties typically result from falling objects and debris, or from forces that damage or demolish buildings and other structures. Disruption of communications, electrical power supplies, and gas, sewer, and water lines should be expected in a large earthquake.

Earthquakes can trigger fires, dam failures, landslides, or releases of hazardous material, compounding their hazards.

Previous Occurrences – Earthquakes
Though not nearly as big or as numerous as in some other parts of the world, earthquakes have rattled New Mexico over the years. Figure 24 depicts the approximate epicenters for past earthquakes in New Mexico and surrounding areas between 1962 and 2005. Socorro County, specifically the City of Socorro inclusive of New Mexico Tech and the smaller unincorporated areas along the Rio Grande Valley are within the Rio Grande Rift. The Rio Grande Rift is a region of tectonic, volcanic, and seismic activity that extends from north-central Colorado southward to Chihuahua, Mexico. At this point in time, New Mexico inclusive of Socorro County has a short and an incomplete earthquake history established; however, Geologic evidence shows that large earthquakes have occurred in the Rio Grande rift. There are large numbers of active faults along the rift and the probability of a future large earthquake in the rift is likely high.

Socorro is the earthquake capital of New Mexico. A 5,000 km2 (1,931 mi2) area, less than 2% of New Mexico, surrounding the town has produced nearly 50% of the 30 natural earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 or greater in the state since 1869. Three of these shocks occurred during a very strong swarm from 2 July 1906 through early 1907 and were the strongest within the state from 1869 through 2008. Information on these shocks comes from newspaper accounts and notably from a published paper by the famous seismologist H. F. Reid. His paper on the 1906–07 swarm appears in the first issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America and presents Rossi-Forel earthquake intensity observations out to distances of several hundred kilometers for the three strong earthquakes of the swarm.

The largest earthquakes of record in this region occurred during an ongoing earthquake swarm in 1906, and the magnitudes of the two largest events were approximately 5.8. For comparison, the largest felt and heard event from the most recent swarm in this region (August 2009) was M 2.6. This earthquake increased the property damage already sustained at Socorro from previous earthquakes. Four rebuilt chimneys were shaken off the Socorro County Courthouse, and two others were cracked severely. Plaster fell at the courthouse, and a cornice on the northwest corner of the two-story adobe Masonic Temple was thrown onto its first floor. Several bricks fell from the front gable on one house. Plaster was shaken from walls in Santa Fé, about 200 kilometers from the epicenter. Felt over most of New Mexico and in parts of Arizona and Texas. (Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/events/1906_11_15.php; Reid, 1911)

Earthquake swarms, defined as a series of earthquakes recurring for days in nearly the same location within minutes of each other, are very common in this region. Historical accounts of these swarms date back to the 1860s, and they have been recorded on local seismic instruments since the early 1960s (Figure 25, blue stars, Sanford et al., 2002). The majority of the earthquakes in these swarms are shallow (3-8 miles beneath the surface), and relatively small (M < 1.0). These small earthquakes are not damaging; however, based on historic seismicity and geologic evidence, there is a chance for a larger, possibly damaging event in the future (Wong, 2009). According to the US Geological Survey, there is an 18% chance of a large earthquake (M > 6.0) in the Socorro region in the next 100 years.

Twelve strong felt earthquakes with estimated magnitudes of 4.5 or greater occurred in the Socorro area from 1869 through 1961. Unlike the instrumental data from 1962 through 2004, nearly all of these strong shocks appear to have had epicenters near Socorro rather than north of San Acacia. Also the statistics for earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.5 or greater from 1869 to the present indicated the Socorro-area seismic activity before the 1930s was significantly higher primarily because of prolonged earthquake swam that commenced in July 1906 a few months following the San Francisco earthquake in April of that year. Earthquakes were felt as early as July 2, 1906 and continued almost on a daily basis well into 1907. Three shocks in the swarm had magnitudes of 5.5 to 5.9, strong enough to significantly damage some adobe and masonry structures. The most unusual characteristic noted of the swarm was the exceptionally large number of felt earthquakes over a six-month period. It is suspected that weak shocks probably related to the swarm continuing into 1909 (Sanford, A.R. 1998).

During the month August 2009, Seismicity within the Socorro region has been very active. A felt earthquake of magnitude (ML) 2.3 occurred on August 19, 2009 approximately 3 km NE of Socorro near Escondida. Small events continued to occur during this time with activity beginning near the Lemitar area on August 24, 2009. These events have been numerous and fairly shallow depth of 5.5-6 km. The largest event was ML=2.5 on August 29, 2009 at 18:31:01 MDT (August 30, 2009 at 01:31:01 UTC) and was felt by many residents of Lemitar and Socorro.

Preliminary locations on the largest 53 events (ML range of 0.5 to 2.5); however, over 400 smaller events have also occurred since August 19, 2009. The locations of 53 of the largest earthquakes are very similar, suggesting that this is an earthquake swarm. Earthquake swarms are usually caused in response to tectonic or hydrological pressure changes in the crust. Minor felt earthquakes in this region are not uncommon, and have been documented by Dr. Allan Sanford in the past (Figure 26, blue squares). However, this was a swarm with unusually frequent, large earthquakes (14 earthquakes with ML > 1.4). For a size comparison, felt reports were noted for 4 events with ML 1.9 and greater. Table 46 identifies the strongest earthquakes equal to or greater than 4.5 in Socorro County.

Earthquake activity was detected in northern Socorro County around the San Acacia, NM area. A series of minor earthquakes measuring between ML 2.1 and less occurred between March 22 and March 23, 1998. Following the first tremor were a series (total of 10) of smaller earthquakes all measuring less than ML 1.0.

Flood/Flash Floods

Overview – Flood/Flash Floods in Socorro County, New Mexico
Nationwide, hundreds of floods occur each year, making flooding one of the most common hazards in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Most injuries and deaths from flooding happen when people are swept away by flood currents, and most property damage results from inundation by sediment-filled water. The majority of flood events in the United States involve inundation of floodplains (Figure 6) associated with rivers and streams and shoreline inundation along lakes and coastlines.

This type of flooding typically results from large-scale weather systems generating prolonged rainfall from locally intense storms or snowmelt. For the purposes of this report, this type of flooding is referred to as ―riverine flooding‖ and is characterized by a gradual and predictable rise in a river or stream due to persistent precipitation. After the stream or river overflows its banks, the land nearby remains under water for an extended period of time. Although the State of New Mexico and Socorro County experience riverine flooding, flash flooding is a more common and a more damaging type of flooding.

Flash floods are aptly named: they occur suddenly after a brief but intense downpour; they move quickly and end abruptly. Although the duration of these events is usually brief, the damages can be quite severe. People are often surprised at how quickly a normally dry arroyo can become a raging torrent. Flash floods are the primary weather-related killer with around 140 deaths recorded in the United States each year. Flash floods are common and frequent in New Mexico, and as a result, New Mexico has the tenth highest flash flood fatality rate in the nation.

Flash floods also result as a secondary effect from other types of disasters, including large wildfires. Wildfires remove vegetative cover and alter soil characteristics, increasing the quantity and velocity of storm water runoff. In addition, drought conditions exacerbate flash flooding and erosion due to soils becoming hydrophobic and increasing velocity of storm water runoff. Floods can cause erosion along riverbanks and undermine buildings and bridges, tear out trees, wash out access roads, and cause of loss of life and injuries.

National Flood Insurance Program

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manage the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and implement a variety of programs authorized by Congress to reduce losses that may result from natural disasters. FIMA is a component of the FEMA manages the NFIP, and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the Program.

Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities.

The NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) was implemented in 1990 as a program to recognize and encourage community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum NFIP standards. The National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 codified the CRS in the NFIP. Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are adjusted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from community activities that meet the three goals of the CRS: (1) reduce flood losses; (2) facilitate accurate insurance rating; and (3) promote the awareness of flood insurance.

Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1B a year through partnerships with NFIP and CRS communities, the insurance industry, and the lending industry. Buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards also suffer approximately 80% less damage annually than those not built in compliance. Further, every $3 paid in flood insurance claims saves $1 in disaster assistance payments.

The NFIP is self-supporting for the average historical loss year, which means that operating expenses and flood insurance claims are not paid for by the taxpayer, but through premiums collected for flood insurance policies. The program has borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury for times when losses were heavy; however, these loans are usually paid back with interest. To obtain secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), flood insurance must be purchased. Lending institutions that are federally regulated or federally insured must determine if the structure is located in a SFHA and must provide written notice requiring flood insurance. Flood insurance is available to any property owner located in a community participating in the NFIP. All areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees. In fact, 25% of all flood claims occur in low-to-moderate risk areas.

The most widely adopted design and regulatory standard for floods in the United States is the 1% annual chance flood and this is the standard formally adopted by FEMA. The 1% annual flood, also known as the base flood elevation, has a 1% chance of occurring in any particular year. It is also often referred to as the “100-year flood” since its probability of occurrence suggests it should only reoccur once every 100 years (although this is not the case in practice). Experiencing a 100-year flood does not mean a similar flood cannot happen for the next 99 years; rather it reflects the probability that over a long period of time, a flood of that magnitude should only occur in 1% of all years.

According to FEMA, Socorro County has been an active participant in the National Flood Insurance Program since August 2008. Since participating in the program, 212 NFIP policies were in force in Socorro County (to include Socorro City/Village of Magdalena) as of April 30, 2011, for a total flood insurance coverage of $38,582,500.00. A total of $18,369 has been paid out in Socorro County for flood damage since the establishment of the NFIP in 1978. At present, there are no identified repetitive-loss properties in Socorro County.

Extreme Heat

Overview – Extreme Heat in Socorro County, New Mexico
Socorro County experiences some form of extreme heat activity annually, based on seasonal meteorological patterns and local topographical conditions. All areas of Socorro County are susceptible to extreme heat conditions, although local topography, such as elevation and land contours, plays a significant part in how this extreme heat affects a particular area. For the purpose of this report, all areas of the County are considered equally vulnerable to extreme heat. The effects of extreme temperatures generally affect at risk sectors of the population: the elderly, the young, the sick/infirmed, those living below the poverty level and outdoor laborers.

Previous Occurrences – Extreme Heat
Socorro’s latitude and altitude combine to give it a pleasant year-round climate. Socorro is just far enough south to be spared many of the storms that often touch northern New Mexico. Its elevation of approximately 4,585 feet spares us the extreme heat. The altitude also provides four distinct but temperate seasons. Socorro summer high temperature averages are in the mid ’90s, with no more than 20 days when the temperature reaches over 100oF. Winter high temperature averages are in the mid ’50s, and winter nights seldom drop to 0oF. Socorro’s low average humidity, little cloud cover, and valley location encourage formation of significant atmospheric stable layers. Normally during the day, air temperature decreases with altitude, but after a clear, calm night, the air next to the ground becomes cooler than the air above.

During the summer months, individual daytime temperatures quite often exceed 100° F at elevations below 5,000 feet; but the average monthly maximum temperatures during July, the warmest month, range from slightly above 90° F at lower elevations to the upper 70’s at high elevations. Warmest days quite often occur in June before the thunderstorm season sets in; during July and August, afternoon convective storms tend to decrease solar insulation, lowering temperatures before they reach their potential daily high. A preponderance of clear skies and low relative humidities permit rapid cooling by radiation from the earth after sundown; consequently, nights are usually comfortable in summer. The average range between daily high and low temperatures is from 25° to 35° F.

According to the NCDC, no extreme heat events have been identified.

Hazard Profile – Extreme Heat Hazard Characteristics
Extreme heat is defined as temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region and last for several weeks. In an average year, extreme heat kills 175 people (FEMA Extreme Heat Backgrounder). Young children, the elderly, outdoor laborers, and sick people are the most likely to suffer the effects of extreme heat. The heat index measures the severity of hot weather by estimating the apparent temperature: how hot it feels (Table 44). Skin resistance to heat and moisture transfer is directly related to skin temperature, therefore the ambient temperature can be quantified by examining the relation between relative humidity versus skin temperature. If the relative humidity is higher/lower than the base value, the apparent temperature is higher/lower than the ambient temperature. In New Mexico at elevations below 5,000 feet, individual day-time temperatures often exceed 100°F during the summer months. However, during July, the warmest month, temperatures range from slightly above 90°F in the lower elevations to 70°F in the higher elevations (Western Region Climate Center, www.wrcc.dri.edu/narratives/NEWMEXICO.htm).

Extreme heat, or heat wave, is defined by the NWS as a temperature of 10° F or more above the average high temperature for the region, lasting for several weeks. This condition is definitely a public health concern. During extended periods of very high temperatures or high temperatures with high humidity, individuals can suffer a variety of ailments, including heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat cramps.

  • Heatstroke is a life threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. It exists when the body’s core temperature rises above 105° F as a result of environmental temperatures. Patients may be delirious, stuporous, or comatose. The death-to-care ratio in reported cases in the U.S. averages about 15%

  • Heat exhaustion is much less severe than heatstroke. The body temperature may be normal or slightly elevated. A person suffering from heat exhaustion may complain of dizziness, weakness, or fatigue. The primary cause of heat exhaustion is fluid and electrolyte imbalance. The normalization of fluids will typically alleviate the situation

  • Heat syncope is typically associated with exercise by people who are not acclimated to exercise. The symptom is a sudden loss of consciousness. Consciousness returns promptly when the person lies down. The cause is primarily associated with circulatory instability because of heat. The condition typically causes little or no harm to the individual

  • Heat cramps are typically a problem for individuals who exercise outdoors but are unaccustomed to heat. Similar to heat exhaustion, it is thought to be a result of a mild imbalance of fluids and electrolytes

The elderly, disabled, and debilitated are especially susceptible to heat stroke. Large and highly urbanized cities can create an island of heat that can raise the area’s temperature by 3 to 5° F. Therefore, urban communities with substantial populations of elderly, disabled, and debilitated people could face a significant medical emergency during an extended period of excessive heat.

New Mexico is partially an arid desert state, and summer temperatures often exceed the 100° F mark under normal conditions. Nighttime temperatures are typically cool due to low humidity, and even though daytime temperatures may be high, people experience relief at night. Heat waves in which daily high temperatures exceed 110o F for many days in a row are rare. Such a heat wave in the higher altitudes would probably have a more damaging effect because people would not be expecting such hot conditions. However, anywhere in the state that experienced the humidity/temperature combination could suffer ill effects from the event.

A heat wave would also have a drying effect on vegetation, facilitating the ignition of wildfires. If a heat wave were coupled with a power failure, the effect on the population would be much more severe due to a lack of air conditioning. In general, it is safe to say that there is no area of the state that is immune from the hazard of heat wave (Figure 22). Heat can affect roadways, runways, and some equipment, but it is generally a health risk, not a structural hazard. Periods of extreme heat can also place additional demands upon the electrical grid. Brown outs and black outs could dramatically increase vulnerability, particularly to those facilities associated with the housing and care of vulnerable populations.

The entire planning area is subject to extreme heat events. Research has concluded that no past history exists at this time. Future updates to the mitigation plan will include extreme heat events experienced in Socorro County and those jurisdictions identified in this HMP.

High Wind

Overview – Wind in Socorro County, New Mexico
Wind is defined as the motion of air relative to the earth’s surface, and the hazard of high wind is commonly associated with severe thunderstorm winds (exceeding 58 mph) as well as tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms and nor’easters. High winds can also occur in the absence of other definable hazard conditions, events often referred to as simply “windstorms.” High wind events might occur over large, widespread areas or in a very limited, localized area. They can occur suddenly without warning, at any time of the day or night.

Typically, high winds occur when large air masses of varying temperatures meet. Rapidly rising warm moist air serves as the “engine” for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and other windstorm events. These storms can occur singularly, in lines or in clusters. They can move through an area very quickly or linger for several hours.

Previous Occurrences – High Winds
Socorro County experiences some form of high wind activity annually, based on seasonal meteorological patterns and local topographical conditions. The County is susceptible to high wind events. All areas of Socorro County are susceptible to high wind conditions, although local topography, such as elevation and land contours, plays a significant part in how high winds affect a specific area. For the purpose of this report, all areas of the County are considered equally vulnerable to high wind events.

The effects of high wind storms can topple manufactured homes, destroy buildings, lift cars, snap trees (which create roadblocks), topple power lines (can cause an electrocution hazard and cripple local infrastructure), and cause injury and death.

According to the NCDC, Socorro County has not experienced any high wind events but, however, NCDC does show four tornado events between 1950 and 2005 (Table 39). The only reported damage was for the first event in 1950 which caused $25K in property damage. Additionally the 1950 reported tornado was the only one listed as an F1 with moderate severity while the other three were listed as F0 minimal severity. Tornado was not identified by the MPG as a natural hazard concern. Based on minimal past occurrences and magnitude of the wind event, this could be considered other than a tornado. As future revisions of this plan occurs, should the county experience an increase of tornado events, the MPG will profile tornados and provide a more detailed data of past occurrences and vulnerabilities in the county.

December 2009 – As reported by the Mountain Mail, after a weekend of wintry weather, high winds were a cause of concern for many county residents, especially those traveling on Highway 60, which had to be shut down near Magdalena for over an hour. The closure was the result of diesel fuel leaking from the tank of a wrecked semi tractor trailer. According to the Magdalena Marshal, two semis were blown off the road; one at mile marker 126, and the other at mile marker 119. The semi at 119 leaked 240 gallons of diesel fuel causing the highway had to be closed until the hazmat operation had been completed. The truck driver from Boise, Idaho, said he was on his way to Tucson when he experienced the estimated 100 mph gusts on Highway 60. Higher winds were recorded at other stations in the county. Magdalena Ridge Observatory sustained wind speeds at the 10,600 foot facility averaged about 100 mph over a seven hour period with gusts up to 128 mph.

July 15, 2010 – As reported in the local newspaper the El Defensor Chieftain, a fierce storm that blew through Socorro Thursday evening (July 15), ripping the roof off an abandoned single- wide mobile home on Blue Canyon Road and slammed it onto the roof of another home, which sits just below that structure. Additionally, the Socorro Electric Cooperative was called out to a three-phase pole that was down near the Mounyo Ranch off U.S. 380. New Mexico Tech also reported outages due to the down power lines.

April 29, 2010 – As reported in the local newspaper the El Defensor Chieftain, strong winds tore away some roof paneling at the Veguita Trading Post which severed the wires to the store's satellite system and knocked out some of its electricity. Before finding a resting spot across N.M. 304, the paneling slammed into the back door of a delivery van that store owner moments earlier was helping to unload. The paneling smashed out a window in the van's door. It was reported that customers were battling sustained 40 mph winds.

January 22, 2010 – The Village of Magdalena experienced high winds during a winter storm (Figure 16). A local resident captured the damage to a local business. The roof was literally peeled off with the north end left attached. No estimated costs were available from this damage.

January 12, 2010 – As reported in the local newspaper the El Defensor Chieftain, sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts, swept through the area damaging roofs and knocking down fences. No injuries were reported.

July 30, 1997 – Categorized in the NCDC as thunderstorm wind and not high wind, the City of Socorro experienced a strong storm that caused a mobile home to overturn and land on a car and caused downed power lines in the area. No injuries or fatalities were recorded the wind storm (thunderstorm wind) caused $60K in property damage.

Local Emergency Planning Committee

Meetings of the Socorro County Local Emergency Planning Committee are held in the west wing of the Socorro County Annex Building, 198 Neel Ave, at 10:00a.m. the third Thursday of every month.

About the LEPC

Local Emergency Planning Committees were mandated to exist by the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)

SARA Title III establishes requirements for Federal, State and local governments, Indian Tribes, and industry, regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public’s knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and to protect public health and the environment.


The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted by Congress in 1980 to clean up the nation's hazardous waste sites and to provide for emergency response to releases of hazardous substances into the environment. CERCLA is also called Superfund, and the hazardous waste sites are known as Superfund sites. In response to continuing community concern regarding hazardous materials and chemical release tragedies, a reauthorization and expansion of Superfund was signed into law in 1986. It is known as the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA); Title III of SARA (“SARA Title III”) is the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA).

While LEPCs are all specifically charged with dealing with hazardous materials, many if not most have chosen an “all hazard” approach. We have done so in Socorro County.

The Socorro County LEPC came into being in 2003, at first largely driven by the Socorro Amateur Radio Association. Since that time members have come from a wide variety of agencies and organizations, and we have developed an Emergency Operations Plan. We invite your participation in keeping the Plan current.


AAG Association of American Geographers

ACEC Area of Critical Environmental Concern

ACMI Assistant Chief Medical Investigator

ACP Access Control Point

AD anno Domini, average daily traffic

ADA Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

AFB Air Force Base

AG Attorney General

ALERT Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time

ANS Alert and Notification System

ANSI American National Standards Institute

APA American Planning Association

APAS Animal Protective Association of Socorro

APD Application for a Permit to Drill

ARC American Red Cross

ARES Amateur Radio Emergency Service

ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers

B Barrel

BC before Christ

bcf billion cubic feet

BHSD Behavioral Health Services Division (DOH)

BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs

BLM Bureau of Land Management (US)

BMP best management practice

BOP blowout preventer

BOR Bureau of Reclamation

BTW by the way

C Celsius

CAA Clean Air Act (see also FCAA)

CAD Computer Aided Design

CAP Civil Air Patrol

CAT Crisis Action Team

CB Citizens Band

CBDG Community Development Block Grant

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Community Development Corporation

CDL Commercial Driver's License

CEO Chief Executive Official

CEP Civil Emergency Preparedness

CEQ Council on Environmental Quality

CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

CF/S Cubic Feet per Second

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

CHEMTREC Chemical Manufacturers Association Chemical Transportation Emergency Center

CID Construction Industries Division

CIP Capital Improvements Plan (or Program)

CISM Critical Incident Stress Management

CMI Chief Medical Investigator

CO carbon monoxide, Certificate of Occupancy

CO2 carbon dioxide

COA conditions of approval

CODMI Central Office Deputy Medical Investigator

COG Council of Governments

CPG Civil Preparedness Guide

CRDD Community Residences for the Developmentally Disabled

CRMP Cultural Resource Management Plan

CSEPP Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program

CSU controlled surface use

CUA common use area

CWA Clean Water Act

CYFD Children, Youth & Families Department

DAC Disaster Assistance Center

DAP Disaster Assistance Program

dB decibels

dBA A-weighted sound level

DFA Department of Finance & Administration

DFO Disaster Field Office

DMAT Disaster Medical Assistance Team

DMI Deputy Medical Investigator

DOD Department of Defense

DOE Department of Energy

DOH Department of Health

DOI US Department of the Interior

DOT Department of Transportation

DPS Department of Public Safety

DRC Disaster Recovery Center

DSR Damage Survey Report

DST drill stem test

DU Dwelling Unit

DUA Disaster Unemployment Assistance

DWI Disaster Welfare Information

EAS Emergency Alert System

ECL Emergency Classification Level

ED Environmental Department

EDA Economic Development Administration

EDD Economic Development Division

EHS Extremely Hazardous Substance

EIDL Economic Injury Disaster Loan

EIR Environmental Impact Report

EIS environmental impact statement, Environmental Impact Statement

EMC Emergency Management Center

EMF Electromagnetic Field

EMI Emergency Management Institute

EMNRD Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Dept.

EMP ElectroMagnetic Pulse

EMS Emergency Medical Services

EMSB Emergency Medical Service Bureau

EMT Emergency Medical Technician

EO Executive Order

EOC Emergency Operations Center

EOCR Emergency Operations Center Representative

EOP Emergency Operations Plan

EPA Environmental Protection Agency

EPCRA Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

EPG Emergency Planning Guide

EPI Emergency Public Information

EPI Office of Epidemiology (DOH)

EPLO Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer

EPZ Emergency Planning Zone

ERO Emergency Response Officer

ERT Emergency Response Team

ERT-A Emergency Response Team ñ Advance Element

ERT-N Emergency Response Team - National

ERTL Emergency Response Team Leader (DOH)

ESF Emergency Support Function

EST Emergency Support Team

F Fahrenheit

FA Forensic Anthropologist

FAA Federal Aviation Administration

FAsT Field Assessment Team

FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation

FCAA Federal Clean Air Act

FCC Federal Communications Commission

FCO Federal Coordinating Officer

FDMI Field Deputy Medical Investigator

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

FESOP Federally Enforceable State Operating Permit

FGDC Federal Geographic Data Committee

FHA Federal Housing Administration

FHBM Flood Hazard Boundary Map

FHWA Federal Highway Administration

FIA Federal Insurance Administration, Fiscal Impact Analysis (also Federal Insurance Administration)

FIRM Flood Insurance Rate Map

FIS Flood Insurance Study

FLPMA Federal Land Policy and Management Act

FM Facility Mapping

FMHA Farmers Home Administration

FMO Fire Management Officer

FNARS FEMA National Radio System

FNMA Federal National Mortgage Administration (or Fannie Mae)

FO Forensic Odontologist

FOI Freedom of Information

FOIA Freedom of Information Act

FP Forensic Pathologist

FPEIS Final Programmatic Environmental Inpact Statement

FRERP Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan

FRP Federal Response Plan

ft /day square feet per day

FTA Federal Transit Administration

FWSU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

GAR Governor‚s Authorized Representative

GCO Grant Coordinating Officer

GIS Geographic Information Systems

GPS Global Positioning System

GSD General Services Department

HS hydrogen sulfide

HAP Hazardous Air Pollutant

HAZMAT Hazardous Material

HAZWOPER Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Release

HMER Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan

HMP Habitat Management Plan

hp horsepower

HSD Human Services Department

HUD US Department of Housing and Urban Development

I-25 Interstate 25

IAWI In Accordance With

IC Incident Commander

ICP Incident Commander Post

ICS Incident Command System

IDA Industrial Development Authority

IFG Individual Family Grant

IHICS Integrated Habitat Inventory and Classification System

IMHO In My Humble Opinon

IMO In My Opinion

IP Injury Prevention

IPEMS Injury Prevention & Emergency Med. Serv. Bur.

IRZ Immediate Response Zone

ISD Information Systems Division (New Mexico Tech)

ISO Information Systems Officer

JIC Joint Information Center

JIMC Joint Information Media Center

JIS Joint Information System

JNACC Joint Nuclear Accident Coordinating Center

KAFB Kirtland Air Force Base

KGRA known geothermal resource area

L Liter

LADD Lifetime Average Daily Dose or Lowest Acceptable Daily Dose

LAER Lowest Achievable Emission Rate

LAN Local Area Network

LANL Los Alamos National Lab

lb pound

lb/hr pounds per hour

LD Lethal Dose

LD Light Duty

LD50 Median Lethal Dose (i.e., dosage of a toxic substance which kills 50% of the test animals)

LDD Light Duty Diesel

Ldn Day-night noise level

LDPE Low Density Polyethylene

LDT Lowest Dose Tested

LEA Local Enforcement Agency

LEL Lowest Effect Level

LEOP Local Emergency Operations Plan

LEPC Local Emergency Planning Committee

LEPD Legal Enforcement Policy Division

Leq equivalent sound level

Leq(h) one-hour equivalent sound level

LERC Local Emergency Response Committee

LGH Local Government Handbook

LHMA Labeling of Hazardous Materials Act

LIDAR Light Detection and Ranging

LIFO Last In / First Out

LMR Labor Management Relations

LNG Liquefied Natural Gas

LOAEL Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level

LOC Library of Congress

LOEL Lowest Observed Effect Level

LP Local Primary

LPG Liquefied Petroleum Gas

LRO Labor Relations Officier

LTSD Long Term Services Division (DOH)

LUR Land Use Ratio

LWCF Land and Water Conservation Fund

LWOP Leave without Pay

LZ Landing Zone

MCF thousand cubic feet

MCFD thousand cubic feet per day

mg/L milligrams per liter

MGD Millions of Gallons per Day

MHC Midway Hose Company (aka Midway Fire Dept)

MI Medical Investigator

MMCFD million cubic feet per day

MOU Memorandum Of Understanding

mph miles per hour

MS manual section

MSA Management Situation Analysis

MSA Metropolitan Statistical Area (see also CMSA, PMSA, SMSA)

MSCA Military Support to Civil Authorities

MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet

MT Morphology Technician

MTD Motor Transportation Division

NAGPRA Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

NAHB National Association of Home Builders

NAHRO National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials

NARC National Association of Regional Councils

NAWAS National Warning System

NCP National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan

NDA National Defense Area

NDMS National Disaster Medical System

NEPA National Environmental Policy Act

NFA National Fire Academy

NFIP National Flood Insurance Program

NFPA National Fire Protection Association

NGO Nongovernmental Organization

NHPA National Historic Preservation Act

NHS National Highway System

NIA Notice of Intent to Abandon

NIABY Not in Anyone's Back Yard

NIIMS National Interagency Incident Mgmt. Systems

NIMBY Not in My Back Yard

NIMTOO Not in My Term of Office

NMANG NM Air Force National Guard

NMARNG NM Army National Guard

NMBMMR NM Bur. Of Minerals and Mines Resources

NMCDNM Corrections Department

NMCRIS New Mexico Cultural Resource Information System

NMDANM Department of Agriculture

NMDGF New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

NMED New Mexico Environment Department

NMIMT New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech)

NMLBNM Livestock Board

NMLETS New Mexico Law Enforcement Telecommunications System

NMNG NM National Guard

NMOGD New Mexico Oil and Gas Division

NMPM New Mexico Prime Meridian

NMSA NM Statutes, Annotated

NMSHTD NM State Highway & Transportation Department

NMSP NM State Police

NMSU New Mexico State University

NMT New Mexico Tech (NMIMT)

NMTSD New Mexico Traffic Safety Department

NMVOAD NM Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters

NMWQCC New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission

NO nitrogen oxide(s)

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOI Notice of Intent

NOS Notice of Staking

NPDES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

NPS National Park Service

NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission; National Response Center

NRCS National Radio Communication Service

NRCS Natural Resource Conservation Service

NRI Natural Resources Inventory

NRT National Response Team

NSO no surface occupancy

NTHP National Trust for Historic Preservation

NTL Notice to Lessees

NUREG Nuclear Regulation

NWC National Warning Center

NWS National Weather Service

OC Office of Communications

OCA Office of Cultural Affairs

OEM Office of Emergency Management

OGC Office of General Counsel (DOH)

OHV off-highway vehicle

OMI Office of the Medical Investigator

OMIEM Office of the Medical Investigator, Emergency Manager

ONRT Office of Natural Resource Trustee

OPA Oil Pollution Act

ORV off-road vehicle

OSE Office of State Engineer

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration/Act

PA Public Address

PAC primary activity centers

PAZ Protective Action Zone

PCS Personal Communication Services

PD Public Domain, Police Department

PDA Preliminary Damage Assessment, Personal Digital Assistant

PEL Permissible Exposure Limit

PHD Public Health Division (DOH)

PHS Public Health Services

PILT payment in-lieu of taxes

PIO Public Information Officer

PL Public Law, Private Line (tone squelch)

PLO Public Land Order

PM particulate matter of 10 microns or less

PMSA Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

POC Points of Contact

POP Performance-Oriented Packaging

PPB Parts Per Billion

PPE Personal Protective Equipment

PPM parts per million

PRC Public Regulatory Commission

PSD Prevention of Significant Deterioration

PVC polyvinyl chloride

PWS Public Water Supply

R&PP Recreation and Public Purpose

RACES Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

RADEF Radiological Defense

RAP Radiological Assistance Program

RCB Radio Communications Bureau

RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

REACT Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams

REP Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program

RETCO Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinator

RFD reasonable foreseeable development

RFP Requests for Proposals

RFQ Requests for Qualifications

RFRA Religious Freedom Restoration Act

RIM&C Radiological Instrumentation Maintenance & Calibration

RLD Regulations & Licensing Department

RMP Resource Management Plan

RMPA Resource Management Plan Amendment

ROC Regional Operations Center

ROD Record of Decision

ROS Recreation Opportunity Spectrum

ROW Right of Way

RPP Radiological Protection Program

RQ Reportable Quantity

RV Recreational Vehicle

SAFD San Antonio Fire District

SAME Specific Area Message Encoder

SAR Search And Rescue

SARA Socorro Amateur Radio Association, Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA Title III)

SARDA State & Regional disaster Airlift

SAT Situation Analysis Team

SAVFD San Antonio Volunteer Fire Department

SBA Small Business Administration

SCC State Corporation Commission

SCEPA State Civil Emergency Preparedness Act

SCM Survivable Crisis Management

SCO State Coordinating Officer

SCPEA Standard City Planning Enabling Act

SDE State Department of Education

SEMA State Emergency Management Agency

SEO State Engineer‚s Office

SEOP State Emergency Operations Plan

SEPA State Environmental Protection (or Policy) Act

SEPC State Emergency Planning Committee

SEQA State Environmental Quality Act

SERC State Emergency Response Commission

SF Single Family

SFD Single-Family Dwelling

SFHA Special Flood Hazard Area

SHMO State Hazard Mitigation Officer

SHPO State Historic Preservation Office

SHS standard habitat site

SHTD State Highway & Transportation Dept.

SIC Standard Industrial Classification/Code

SIG Street Index Guide

SITREP Situation Report

SLAPP Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

SLD Scientific Laboratory Division (DOH)

SLG State and Local Guide

SLTC standard lease terms and conditions

SMSA Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area

SO Sheriff's Office, sulfur oxide

SO2 sulfur dioxide

SOG Standard Operating Guidance

SOP Standard Operating Procedure

SP State Police

SPCA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

SPCC spill prevention, control, and countermeasure

SPO State Personnel Office

SPT Surface Transportation Program

SR State Route

SRCA State Records Center & Archives

SS special status, special status species

STATSGO State Soil Geographic (Database)

STPP Surface Transportation Policy Project

SUPO Surface Use Plan of Operation

SWP3 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

SZEA Standard (State) Zoning Enabling Act

T&E threatened and endangered

TAGNM The Adjutant General of NM

TDS Total Dissolved Solids

TESD Technical Emergency Support Division

TIN Triangulated Irregular Network (GIS term)

TL timing limitation

TPY Tons Per Year

TRD Taxation and Revenue Department

TRESCO Tri-County handicapped agency (Tres Condadas)

TRI Toxics Release Inventory

TRO Trip Reduction Ordinance

TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act

TSP total suspended particulates

TWA Time Weighted Average

UBC Uniform Building Codes

UH University Hospital ñ UNM

UHF Ultra-High Frequency

UIC underground injection control

UL Underwriter's Laboratories

UNM University of New Mexico

USAR US Army Reserve

USDA US Department of Agriculture

USDI US Department of the Interior

USFS US Forest Service

USFWS US Fish and Wildlife Service

USGS US Geological Survey

USGS US Geological Survey

USPLS US Public Land Survey

UTM Universal Transverse Mercator Grid

VA Veterans Administration

VHF Very High Frequency

VMT vehicle miles traveled

VOAD Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster

VOC Volatile Organic Compound

VRM Visual Resource Management

WHPA Wellhead Protection Area

WIPP Waste Isolation Pilot Project

WMD Watershed Management Program

WQA New Mexico Water Quality Act

WQMP Water Quality Management Plan

WSA Wilderness Study Area

WSMR White Sands Missile Range

Emergency Planning Documents

Socorro County Citizens Corp Council

The mission of the Socorro County Citizen Corps Council is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service in order to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to threats to the security and welfare of the community.

Documents & Records