This page provides resources for state, tribal, and local officials and other parties engaged in developing and implementing hazard mitigation plans.
Local Mitigation Planning Handbook
The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook (Handbook) is the official guide for local governments to develop, update and implement local mitigation plans. While the requirements under §201.6 have not changed, the Handbook provides guidance to local governments on developing or updating hazard mitigation plans to meet the requirements under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 44 – Emergency Management and Assistance §201.6, Local Mitigation Plans for FEMA approval and eligibility to apply for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. It also offers practical approaches, tools, worksheets and local mitigation planning examples for how communities can engage in effective planning to reduce long-term risk from natural hazards and disasters. The Handbook complements and liberally references the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide (October 1, 2011), which is the official guidance for federal and state officials responsible for reviewing local mitigation plans in a fair and consistent manner.
Mitigation Planning Fact Sheets
- State Mitigation Plan Review Guide Fact Sheet (March 2015)
- Mitigation Planning Fact Sheet (2012)
- Tribal Mitigation Planning Fact Sheet (2010)
Mitigation Grant Programs
State, tribal, and local governments are required to develop hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance. Grant programs with mitigation plan requirements include:
- Stafford Act Grant Programs
- National Flood Insurance Act Grant Programs
A Sample Scope of Work for Mitigation Planning Grants may be downloaded from the FEMA Library.
Please visit the pages referenced above for more information on these programs’ specific mitigation plan requirements, as well as funding available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.
Integrating Mitigation with Related Planning Objectives
- Plan Integration: Linking Local Planning Efforts (2015) is a step-by-step guide developed to help communities not only analyze their local plans for existing integration, but also further improve those efforts including interagency coordination.
- Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials (2013) provides practical guidance on how to incorporate risk reduction strategies into existing local plans, policies, codes, and programs that guide community development or redevelopment patterns. Five fact sheets accompany this document:
- Integrating Hazard Mitigation into the Local Comprehensive Plan
- The Role of Local Leadership
- Social and Economic Benefits
- Post-Disaster Redevelopment
- Protecting Community Infrastructure
- Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability (FEMA 364) (2000) illustrates how communities, whether planning for hazard mitigation before a disaster or initiating recovery planning after a disaster, can integrate the concepts and principles of sustainable development into each phase of mitigation planning.
- Rebuilding for a More Sustainable Future: An Operational Framework (FEMA 365) (2000) provides an introduction to principles and practices of sustainable development and explains the need for sustainable actions to be incorporated into the post-disaster recovery process and other community objectives related to economic health, environmental stability, and social well-being.
The following reports were prepared by the American Planning Association (APA) and supported through contracts with FEMA. Hard copies may be ordered through the APA Planners Book Service online or by phone at (312) 786-6344 (costs may apply).
- Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning (PAS 560) (2010) seeks to close the gap that exists between hazard mitigation planning and other local planning and regulatory land-use processes.
- Planning for Post-disaster Recovery and Reconstruction (FEMA 421, PAS 483/484) (2005) is a landmark report for community planners for rebuilding and recovery after disasters and post-disaster reconstruction. It also guides development of a natural hazards element as part of a local, general, or comprehensive plan.
- Hazard Mitigation Planning: Practices for Land Use Planning and Development near Pipelines (2015) provides emergency managers, planners, and others involved with developing hazard mitigation plans with the knowledge and understanding of how pipelines operate, the common products that may be transported through transmission and distribution pipeline systems, the potential impacts (risks) of pipeline incidents, including those caused by natural hazards and mitigation strategies they can implement to reduce these risks.
- Mitigation Ideas: A Resource for Reducing Risk to Natural Hazards (2013) provides information that communities can use to identify and evaluate a range of potential mitigation actions for reducing risk from natural hazards and disasters.
- Search for and learn about hazard mitigation best practices nationwide through FEMA’s Mitigation Best Practices Portfolio.
- FEMA Tribal Affairs
- FEMA and Tribal Nations: A Pocket Guide (2014) explains the Agency's policies related to tribal engagement, outlines key FEMA programs and how they specifically relate to federally-recognized tribes, and provides contact information for the Agency's tribal liaisons.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- HUD Office of Native American Programs
- EPA American Indian Tribal Portal
- Indian Health Service Area Offices and Facilities
- Building a Disaster-Resistant University (FEMA 443) (2003) is both a how-to guide and a distillation of the experiences of six universities and colleges that have been working to become more disaster-resistant. This guide provides basic information designed for institutions just getting started, as well as concrete ideas, suggestions and practical experiences for institutions that have already begun to take steps to becoming more disaster-resistant.
- Building Partnerships to Reduce Hazard Risks (FEMA L-265) (2005) provides a brief explanation on the benefits to both universities and their local communities when they collaborate to reduce risks. Includes a list of public and private sector resources that provide planning assistance to academic institutions.
- Environmental Protection Agency: In 2010, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the FEMA-EPA Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the two agencies to work together to help communities become safer, healthier and more resilient. The two agencies will collaborate to help communities that have been hit by disasters to recover and mitigate in ways that protect the environment, create long-term economic prosperity and enhance neighborhoods. FEMA and EPA will also help communities incorporate smart growth and climate adaptation strategies to improve quality of life and direct development away from vulnerable areas.
Read about some of the joint FEMA-EPA projects on EPA’s Smart Growth web pages.