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Hazard Mitigation Planning

This page introduces hazard mitigation planning, describes the benefits of risk assessment and planning, and provides an overview of FEMA’s mitigation plan requirement, a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance.

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Overview

New Orleans, La., 3/8/06- Eric Martin stands in front of his home in Gentilly holding a sketch of what his house will look like after elevation and repairs are completedMitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. State, tribal, and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify natural hazards that impact them, identify strategies and activities to reduce any losses from those hazards, and establish a coordinated approach to implementing the plan, taking advantage of a wide range of resources. Mitigation plans are key to state, tribal, and local governments’ efforts to break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

Developing hazard mitigation plans enables state, tribal, and local governments to:

  • Increase education and awareness around threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities;
  • Build partnerships for risk reduction involving government, organizations, businesses, and the public;
  • Identify long-term strategies for risk reduction that are agreed upon by stakeholders and the public;
  • Identify cost effective mitigation actions, focusing resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities;
  • Align risk reduction with other state, tribal, or community objectives; and
  • Communicate priorities to potential sources of funding.

Ultimately, hazard mitigation planning enables action to reduce loss of life and property, lessening the impact of disasters.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Requirement

FEMA requires state, tribal, and local governments to develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. Specifically:

  • All states (including territories and the District of Columbia) and federally-recognized tribes applying directly to FEMA as an applicant must have a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan as a condition for receiving non-emergency Public Assistance (Categories C-G), Fire Management Assistance Grants, or Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) project grants through the HMA grant programs. The HMA grant programs include the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program, and the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program.
    • Under the PDM and FMA programs such jurisdictions must have a FEMA-approved state or tribal hazard mitigation plan by the application deadline and at the time of obligation of the award.
    • Under the HMGP program such jurisdictions must have a FEMA-approved state or tribal hazard mitigation plan at the time of the Presidential major disaster declaration and at the time HMGP funding is obligated to the Recipient or subrecipient.
  • All tribes or local governments applying through a state as a subapplicant must have a FEMA-approved tribal or local hazard mitigation plan as a condition for receiving HMA project grants through the HMA grant programs.
    • Under the PDM and FMA programs such jurisdictions must have a FEMA-approved tribal or local hazard mitigation plan by the application deadline and at the time of obligation of grant funds for mitigation projects.
    • Under the HMGP program such jurisdictions must have a FEMA-approved tribal or local hazard mitigation plan at the time of obligation of grant funds for mitigation projects.
  • State, tribal, and local governments must update their hazard mitigation plans and re-submit them for FEMA approval every five years to maintain eligibility for grant assistance as outlined above. Jurisdictions that do not have current FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plans are able to apply for a planning grant under one of FEMA’s HMA programs to develop or update a hazard mitigation plan.

Additional Information

Please visit the Hazard Mitigation Assistance, Public Assistance Grant Program, or Fire Management Assistance Grant Program pages for more information on these programs’ specific mitigation plan requirements, as well as funding available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.
Last Updated: 
10/28/2015 - 12:21