Safety Element

The City is committed to protecting life, property, and commerce from disruptions and loss associated from human-caused and natural hazards, disasters, and other threats to public health and safety. Natural hazards that could impact Ontario include earthquakes, flooding, fire,  wind, and climate-related hazards. Man-made hazards include hazardous materials, noise, and crime. A clear management framework for emergency services is essential to adequately plan for and respond to these hazards

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) and Vulnerability Assessment Report (VA) (see “Downloadable Files” below) are incorporated by reference”


The Safety Element:

  • Identifies potential hazards.
  • Provides background on the history of hazards and the likelihood of future changes to these hazards.  
  • Provides policies that increase resilience of residents, businesses, workers, and visitors.   
  • Provides policies to reduce the level of property loss due to a potential disaster.   
  • Provides a framework for emergency management.


The City believes:

  • It is the role of government to minimize exposure to natural and human-caused hazards.
  • A safe and healthy environment is necessary to build and maintain a sustainable, resilient, and prosperous Ontario.
  • Reduction in the loss of life, injury, private property damage, infrastructure damage, economic losses and social dislocation can be achieved through planning, preparedness, and response.
  • Interdepartmental and inter-jurisdictional coordination and collaboration are necessary to be resilient to everyday emergencies and major disasters.

Interactive Maps

Figure S-02: Subsidence Zones

Figure S-03: Flood Hazard Zones

Figure S-04:  Dam Inundation Zones

Figure S-06a: Traffic Noise Contours

Figure S-06b: Rail Noise Contour

Figure S-06c: Airport Noise Contours


S Safety Element Sections

S-1 Seismic & Geologic Hazards

Ontario is susceptible to earthquakes, liquefaction,, and subsidence caused by rapid withdrawal of groundwater. For the City to thrive and continue to attract investment, residents, business owners, and investors need assurance that the City is prepared for and will effectively respond to seismic and geologic hazards.

S-1 Minimized risk of injury, loss of life, property damage, and economic and social disruption caused by earthquake-induced and other geologic hazards.
S-1.1 Implementation of Regulations and Standards. We require that all new habitable structures be designed in accordance with the most recent California Building Code adopted by the City, including provisions regarding lateral forces and grading.

Entitlement and Permitting Process. We follow state guidelines and the California Building Code to determine when development proposals must conduct geotechnical and geological investigations.


Continual Update of Technical Information. We maintain up-to-date California Geological Survey seismic hazard maps.

S-1.4 Seismically Vulnerable Structures. We conform to state law regarding unreinforced masonry structures and coordinate with not-for-profits to facilitate seismic retrofits in environmental justice areas and for low-income households.


S-2 Flood Hazards

Flood hazards to the area can be classified as flooding down natural channels and flooding due to capacity constraints of the storm drain system. A 100-year flood or larger event is anticipated to result in extensive property damage and displacement of hundreds of households. Catastrophic failure of any water retaining structure due to storm induced flood or dam failure inundation has the potential to cause considerable damage in Ontario.

S-2 Minimized risk of injury, loss of life, property damage and economic and social disruption caused by flooding and inundation hazards.
S-2.1 Entitlement and Permitting Process. We require hydrological studies prepared by a state-certified engineer when new development is located in a 100-year or 500-year floodplain to assess the impact that the new development will have on the flooding potential of existing development down-gradient.

Floodplain Mapping. We require any new development partially or entirely in 100-year flood zones to provide detailed floodplain mapping for 100- and 200-year storm events as part of the development approval process.


Facilities that Use Hazardous Materials. We comply with state and federal law and do not permit facilities using, storing, or otherwise involved with substantial quantities of onsite hazardous materials to be located in the 100-year flood zone or 500-year flood zone unless all standards of elevation, floodproofing, and storage have been implemented to the satisfaction of the Building Department.

S-2.4 Prohibited Land Uses. We prohibit the development of new essential and critical facilities in the 100-year floodplain and discourage the development of new essential and critical facilities in the 500-year floodplain unless all standards of elevation and flood proofing demonstrate that a facility can be safe and operational during a flood event, implemented to the satisfaction of the Building Department.
S-2.5 Stormwater Management. We maintain the storm drain system to convey a 100-year storm, when feasible, and encourage environmental site design practices to minimize flooding and increase groundwater recharge, including natural drainage, green infrastructure, and permeable ground surfaces. (Link to Environmental Resources Element)
S-2.6 Use of Flood Control Facilities. We encourage joint use of flood control facilities as open space or other types of recreational facilities.
S-2.7 Collaboration Between Agencies. Collaborate with the San Bernardino County Flood Control District and other state and federal agencies to maintain flood-control infrastructure to minimize flood damage.
S-3 Fire & Rescue Hazards

The City of Ontario seeks to reduce the threat of fire hazards to life, property and economic viability by providing fire, rescue, emergency medical, and specialty emergency response services. Due to the local topography and nearby Cajon Pass, Santa Ana Winds by far pose the greatest fire hazard to the City. The Santa Ana winds pose a continual fire conflagration hazard to any dense area of the City, with an increased risk to older portions of Ontario. Ontario’s commercial and industrial facilities increase the possibility of fires involving hazardous materials, which could affect nearby residential areas. Ontario is also surrounded and bisected by major transportation networks and pipeline transfer systems which add further risk.

S-3 Reduced risk of death, injury, property damage and economic loss due to fires, accidents and normal everyday occurrences through prompt and capable emergency response.
S-3.1 Prevention Services. We proactively mitigate or reduce the negative effects of fire, hazardous materials release, and structural collapse by implementing the regularly adopted California Fire Code and California Building Code.

Community Outreach. We provide education to local schools and community groups to promote personal and public safety.


Fire and Emergency Medical Services. We maintain sufficient fire stations, equipment and staffing to respond effectively to emergencies and meet the needs of the community and state requirements.

S-3.4 Special Team Services. We maintain effective special rescue services.
S-3.5 Emergency Notifications. We maintain a public alert notification system that efficiently conveys information about imminent, developing, ongoing, and concluding emergency events to residents and visitors, working with network providers that translate information into other languages.
S-3.6 Interagency Cooperation. In order to back up and supplement our capabilities to respond to emergencies, we participate in the California Fire Rescue and Mutual Aid Plan.
S-3.7 Water Supply and System Redundancy. We monitor our water system to manage and ensure adequate firefighting water supplies.
S-3.8 Fire Prevention through Environmental Design. We require new development to incorporate fire prevention consideration in the design of streetscapes, sites, open spaces, and buildings. (Link to Community Design Element)
S-3.9 Resource Allocation. We analyze fire data to evaluate the effectiveness of our fire prevention and reduction strategies and allocate resources accordingly.
S-4 Noise Hazards

Physical health, psychological wellbeing, social cohesion, property values and economic productivity can all be affected by excessive amounts of noise. Ontario has many mobile and stationary sources of noise, impacts from them must be considered in development decisions.

S-4 An environment where noise does not adversely affect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
S-4.1 Noise Mitigation. We utilize the City’s Noise Ordinance, building codes, and subdivision and development codes to mitigate noise impacts.

Coordination with Transportation Authorities. We collaborate with airport owners, FAA, Caltrans, SBCTA, SCAG, neighboring jurisdictions, and other transportation providers in the preparation and maintenance of, and updates to transportation-related plans to minimize noise impacts and provide appropriate mitigation measures.


Noise Mitigation. We utilize the City’s Noise Ordinance, building codes, and subdivision and development codes to mitigate noise impacts.

S-4.4 Truck Traffic. We manage truck traffic to minimize noise impacts on sensitive land uses.
S-4.5 Roadway Design. We design streets and highways to minimize noise impacts.
S-4.6 Airport Noise Compatibility. We utilize information from Airport Land Use Compatibility Plans to prevent the construction of new noise-sensitive land uses within airport noise impact zones.
S-4.7 Rail Noise Mitigation. We require residential and mixed use development of vibration-sensitive uses in areas within 200 feet of rail to evaluate for indoor vibration levels and mitigate any exceedances of the Federal Transit Administration vibration-annoyance criteria.
S-5 Wind-Related Hazards

Severe windstorms can pose a significant risk to property and life in the region by creating conditions that disrupt essential systems such as public utilities, telecommunications, and transportation routes. High winds, including Santa Ana winds, can cause damage to homes, businesses, landscaping, public property, and utilities, as well as pose threats to public safety through the accelerated spread of a fire. The alluvial sand that underlies the majority of Ontario is very susceptible to erosion, and strong winds cause this sand to impact property, air quality, and visibility.

S-5 Minimize the risk of injury, property damage, and economic loss resulting from windstorms and wind-related hazards.
S-5.1 Dust Control Measures. We require the implementation of Best Management Practices for dust control at all excavation and grading projects.

Grading in High Winds. We prohibit excavation and grading during strong wind conditions, as defined by the Building Code.


Public Safety Power Shutoffs. We coordinate with utility companies to minimize service interruptions, such as Public Safety Power Shutoffs, before, during, and after windstorms and wind-related hazards.

S-6 Hazardous Materials & Waste

Ontario’s role as a transportation hub and manufacturing center is key to  the City’s economy. However, these uses make the city susceptible to spills of toxic materials and vulnerable to the byproducts generated in industrial areas. Earthquakes, fires, floods, and strong winds all increase the potential of a hazardous materials release, contaminating the land, air, and water. Of particular concern is exposure to airborne pollutants and groundwater contamination.

S-6 Reduced potential for hazardous materials exposure and contamination.
S-6.1 Disclosure and Notification. We enforce disclosure laws that require all users, producers, and transporters of hazardous materials and wastes to clearly identify the materials that they store, use, or transport.

Response to Hazardous Materials Releases. We respond to hazardous materials incidents and coordinate these services with other jurisdictions.


Safer Alternatives. We minimize our use of pesticides and other hazardous materials by choosing non-toxic alternatives that do not pose a threat to the environment, especially when it could affect public park facilities and open spaces.

S-6.4 Safe Storage and Maintenance Practices. We require that the users of hazardous materials be adequately prepared to prevent and mitigate hazardous materials releases.
S-6.5 Location of Hazardous Material Facilities. We regulate facilities that will be involved in the production, use, storage, or disposal of hazardous materials, pursuant to federal, state, county, and local regulations, so that impacts to the environment and sensitive land uses are mitigated. We prohibit new hazardous waste facilities in close proximity to sensitive land uses and environmental justice areas.
S-6.6 Location of Sensitive Land Uses. We prohibit new sensitive land uses from locating within airport safety zones and near existing sites that use, store, or generate large quantities of hazardous materials. (Link to Land Use Element)
S-6.7 Household Hazardous Waste. We support the proper disposal of household hazardous substances.
S-6.8 Mitigation and Remediation of Groundwater Contamination. We actively participate in local and regional efforts directed at both mitigating environmental exposure to contaminated groundwater and taking action to clean up contaminated groundwater once exposure occurs.
S-6.9 Remediation of Methane. We require development to assess and mitigate the presence of methane, per regulatory standards and guidelines.
S-7 Law Enforcement

Maintaining health and safety in Ontario’s residential neighborhoods and commercial and industrial districts contributes to the City’s prosperity. Ontario achieves this through a proactive approach that includes prevention strategies that engage the community.

S-7 Residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and industrial districts that are kept safe through a multi-faceted approach of prevention, suppression, and community involvement in public safety.
S-7.1 Police Unit Response. We respond to calls for service in a timely manner.

Community Oriented Problem Solving (C.O.P.S.). We support and maintain the mission of COPS to identify and resolve community problems.


Prevention Services. We provide crime prevention programs targeted to youth, parents, seniors, businesses, and neighborhoods.

S-7.4 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). We require new development to incorporate CPTED in the design of streetscapes, sites, open spaces, and buildings.
S-7.5 Interdepartmental Coordination. We utilize all City departments to help reduce crime and promote public safety.
S-7.6 Partnerships. We partner with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and private security providers to enhance public safety services in Ontario.
S-7.7 Resource Allocation. We analyze crime data to evaluate the effectiveness of crime prevention and reduction strategies and allocate resources accordingly.
S-7.8 Social Services. We support behavioral health and social services as part of the public safety solution.
S-8 Emergency Management

Ontario is susceptible to a variety of natural and human-caused hazards including earthquakes, floods, fires, windstorms, and hazardous materials release. While evacuation routes are located throughout the city, some neighborhoods may have evacuation constraints. Ontario seeks to reduce risks and increase resilience by building collaborative preparedness,  response, and recovery programs.

S-8 Disaster resilient, prepared community through effective emergency/disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.
S-8.1 State and Federal Mandates. We maintain emergency management programs that meet the requirements of the State of California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Emergency Management Plans. We maintain, update, and adopt the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and incorporate, by reference the City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).


Emergency/Disaster Training Exercises. We conduct training and exercises to prepare for and evaluate emergency/disaster response and recovery procedures.

S-8.4 Interagency Collaboration. We maintain partnerships, including automatic aid agreements, with fire protection, police and sheriff departments, and emergency management agencies in San Bernardino and Riverside County to strengthen emergency response.
S-8.5 Interdepartmental Coordination. We utilize all City departments to help support emergency/disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.
S-8.6 Community Outreach. We provide education to the community to promote personal, family, and community emergency preparedness to both natural and human-generated hazards.
S-8.7 Extreme Heat and Air Quality. We work to ensure that all community members are informed about and have access to community cooling centers and clean air centers during extreme heat events or wildfires, with a focus on serving environmental justice communities. We support the development of extreme heat emergency response policies and practices to address these critical health risks in the community.
S-8.8 Regional Partnerships for Climate Adaptation. We partner with local governments in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative to develop regional climate change adaptation strategies and programs.
S-8.9 Backup Power in Critical Facilities. We require backup power be maintained in critical facilities. We encourage backup power solutions that include renewable energy components.
S-9 Energy Resiliency

Maintaining an efficient and resilient energy supply for Ontario’s residents and businesses helps ensure continuity of economic drivers and city operations. Ontario attains energy resiliency through creating local, renewable energy and battery storage systems, constructing new buildings and retrofitting existing ones to use less electricity and natural gas.

S-9 Incorporate energy efficient practices and renewable energy systems to improve air quality, comfort, and energy reliability during temporary power outages.
S-9.1 Solar Energy. We support and may incentivize the installation of residential and commercial solar panels and battery storage systems that can provide electricity during power outages.

Renewable Energy. Renovate existing city-owned facilities and plan future facilities to include renewable energy generation capacity and battery storage as part of an effort to make public facilities and services greener and more resilient to power outages.


Energy Efficiency Retrofits. We support and may incentivize retrofits to residential and commercial buildings that improve energy efficiency and insulation from extreme temperatures, giving priority towards low-income applicants.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Downloadable Files

Downloadable Files