Integrating hazard mitigation into local planning

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Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials

FEMA is building on its guidance and best practices for integrating hazard mitigation into other local planning processes. This spring, FEMA released Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials which provides practical guidance on how to incorporate risk reduction strategies into existing local plans, policies, codes, and programs.

One of the main objectives of the guide is to help community planners make the business case for mitigation. Whether part of the comprehensive plan, capital improvement plan, or any other authoritative tool in a planner’s arsenal, integrating hazards into these mechanisms can leverage support for mitigation. The document includes several pull-out fact sheets that can be printed as handouts. Each is geared toward a different topic, such as the role of local leadership, demonstrating the social and economic benefits, linking to recovery or post-disaster redevelopment, and protecting community infrastructure.

In addition, new case studies are included for successful integration in practice. Examples include flood mitigation as part of recovery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the impacts of sea level rise and climate change on tourism and agriculture economies in Miami-Dade, Fla., and incorporating hazards throughout the entire comprehensive plan in the City of Berkeley, Calif.

This resource is intended for those who are engaged in any type of local planning, but primarily community planners and emergency managers who are involved with hazard mitigation planning and implementation. It was developed as a supplement to Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning, prepared in 2010 by the American Planning Association in partnership with FEMA.

FEMA’s Risk Analysis Division managed this project, which included extensive outreach to relevant subject matter experts and the involvement of stakeholder representatives from local communities, State and Federal agencies, academic institutions, private sector companies, and non-profit organizations. Integrating Hazard Mitigation into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials are available on the FEMA Website at

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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