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Implement, Integrate and Maintain Mitigation Planning Activities

Integrating Mitigation

Mitigation Activities

Federal Partners

American Planning Association

Mitigation is most effective when it is part of other community planning processes, regulations, and policies. The publications below will help communities integrate principles of hazard mitigation with planning efforts.

Integrating Mitigation With Related Planning Objectives

FEMA has developed a new job aid connecting mitigation planning to the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)/Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR), Increasing Resilience Using THIRA/SPR and Mitigation Planning. This document describes the similarities and differences between mitigation planning and the THIRA/SPR process. It offers an optional approach to streamline state, territory, and tribal submissions of the mitigation plan and the THIRA/SPR. The document intends to help recognize opportunities to better understand threats and hazards, assess risks, build and sustain capabilities, reduce vulnerability, identify ways to increase resilience, and avoid duplication of effort.

The Planning for Drought Resilience Fact Sheet describes how drought resilience can be part of hazard mitigation planning. It also shows how FEMA's work in mitigation planning supports the 2016 Memorandum and Federal Action Plan on Building Capabilities for Long-Term Drought Resilience.

Plan Integration: Linking Local Planning Efforts (2015) is a step-by-step guide to help communities review local plans for possible integration and improve alignment efforts, including interagency coordination.

Mitigation Planning and the Community Rating System provides an overview of how to bring together planning efforts between the Community Rating System (CRS) and hazard mitigation plans.

Planning Related Activities Using Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant Program 7-Percent Funding fact sheet provides information on planning-related activities funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). State, Tribal, and/or local governments may use planning-related funding to reduce risk and include hazard mitigation with planning.

Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials (2013)

This collection, as introduced by “Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials (2013)”, has guidance on how to integrate risk reduction strategies into existing local plans, policies, codes, and programs for community development or redevelopment patterns. The following five fact sheets are included:

Resources for Mitigation Activities

The Hazard Mitigation Partners Workshop annually updates hazard mitigation stakeholders about grants, floodplain management, strengthening relationships and sharing resources and ideas. The 2021 workshop recordings  provide insights into planning for and implementing mitigation nationwide.

Hazard Mitigation Planning: Practices for Land Use Planning and Development near Pipelines (2015) shows how to incorporate pipelines into hazard mitigation plans.

Mitigation Ideas: A Resource for Reducing Risk to Natural Hazards (2013) reviews a range of potential mitigation actions to reduce risk from natural hazards and disasters.

Using the Hazard Mitigation Plan to Prepare Successful Mitigation Projects shows how to move from hazard mitigation plans to mitigation projects. The mitigation projects may then be funded using FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance, as appropriate.

The Building Science Branch offers guidance on how to create disaster-resilient communities. Their library of publications provides approaches and ideas for mitigation activities, from building codes to structural solutions.

A Guide to Supporting Engagement and Resiliency in Rural Communities discusses outreach and engagement activities, including mitigation planning that address rural communities’ needs and considerations.

The Natural Hazards Retrofit Program Toolkit helps local jurisdictions design and implement building retrofit programs tailored to their community’s needs and hazards. Insights were drawn from programs across the country and program planning tools and resources are included in the appendices.

Federal Partners

There are other Federal agency partners with hazard mitigation and resilience programs that can work with your mitigation plan and program. 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Smart Growth Program

In 2016, FEMA and the EPA renewed their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the two agencies to work together to build safer, healthier, and more resilient communities. The two agencies will collaborate to help communities recover from disasters and reduce risk in ways that protect the environment, support the economy, and enhance neighborhoods. FEMA and the EPA will also help communities use smart growth and climate adaptation ideas to improve quality of life and steer development away from vulnerable areas.

EPA Hazard Mitigation Guide for Utilities

The EPA has created an interactive, user-friendly guide that helps utilities understand how to reduce the impact of natural disasters. This guide explains why mitigation is important, how it should be included in your community’s local mitigation plan, how to identify mitigation projects for each disaster, and how to implement and fund those projects.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Consolidated Plans

The HUD Consolidated Planning Process requires that States and local governments evaluate how vulnerable low- and moderate-income housing is to natural hazards. Communities evaluate housing vulnerability using readily available data developed by Federal agencies, other analyses (like a hazard mitigation plan), and information available to State and local government grantees.

Economic Development Administration

The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) guidelines support building strong economies in America’s communities. CEDS content guidelines encourage communities to consider how they anticipate risk, evaluate how risk can affect key economic assets, and build responsive capacity. The guidelines encourage coordination with local hazard mitigation planning.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Silver Jackets Program

The Silver Jackets are cooperative teams that bring together many partners to work on risk reduction. Members of the Silver Jackets learn from one another and apply their knowledge to reduce the risk of flooding and other natural disasters. They also enhance response and recovery efforts. For more information, visit the Silver Jackets online.

American Planning Association Reports for FEMA

The American Planning Association (APA) prepared the following reports supported by contracts with FEMA. Hard copies may be ordered through the APA Planners Book Service online or by phone at (800) 634-7064 (costs may apply).

Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning (PAS 560) (2010) offers best practices to integrate hazard mitigation into local planning processes. 

Planning for Post-disaster Recovery: Next Generation (PAS 576) (2014) is the updated guide for communities to help strengthen their ability to prepare for and implement resilient disaster recovery. It is an update of the 2005 Report, Planning for Post-disaster Recovery and Reconstruction (FEMA 421, PAS 483-484).

Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas (PAS 584), prepared by APA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), provides communities with best practices to bring subdivision design together with floodplain planning. The report includes six planning and design principles, nine recommendations to keep subdivisions safe from flooding, plus standards for review, inspection, and maintenance.

Falling Dominoes: A Planner’s Guide to Drought and Cascading Impacts
Climate projections suggest droughts across the continental United States will be longer, cover more area and be more intense than those experienced in the 20th century. This guide makes the case for establishing drought as a priority for local planning.

External Resources

The Georgetown Climate Center’s “Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit: Many local governments and community-based practitioners are incorporating principles of equity into their climate adaptation planning and implementation. This toolkit highlights best and emerging practice examples of how cities are addressing disproportionate socioeconomic risk to climate impacts and engaging overburdened communities. This toolkit will further explore how cities are moving beyond equitable adaptation planning and implementing policies that address both social equity and climate resilience.

Available: Season 2 of the Level Up Audio Project: The “Level Up Audio Project” is an audio series produced by FEMA Region 9, which highlights individuals who are making hazard mitigation planning and action a priority in their work and communities. Each episode features short conversations with practitioners who share their stories, best practices, and lessons learned in the Southwest, West Coast, and Pacific. The series aims to inspire mitigation action and strengthen the community of hazard mitigation and climate adaptation professionals working at the local level.  Access both seasons of podcasts at the Georgetown Climate Center’s  “Level Up Audio Project” webpage.