Main Content

Hazard Mitigation Planning


New to mitigation planning? Start here.

Curious if your community has a mitigation plan? Click here.


Looking for training on planning? Visit our "Training" page.

Want to know what's new? Check out our "News and Events" below!



This page introduces hazard mitigation planning and describes its benefits. The intended audience is state, tribal, and local officials and members of the public interested in hazard mitigation planning.

Sign up for GovDelivery updates for the latest information


Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is most effective when implemented under a comprehensive, long-term mitigation plan. State, tribal, and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters, and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking 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, broadly-supported strategies for risk reduction;
  • Align risk reduction with other state, tribal, or community objectives;
  • Identify implementation approaches that focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities; and
  • Communicate priorities to potential sources of funding.

Moreover, a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. Ultimately, hazard mitigation planning enables action to reduce loss of life and property, lessening the impact of disasters.

This page outlines new guidance resources, news, and events related to hazard mitigation planning. The intended audiences for this page include hazard mitigation planners, emergency management professionals, as well as state, tribal, and local officials.

Upcoming State and Local Mitigation Planning Policy Updates

This year, the Mitigation Planning Program is scheduled to update the State and Local Mitigation Planning policies. These are commonly known as the Plan Review Guides. These policies will be updated to reflect recent legislative changes, policy updates, feedback from States and the public, and other factors. There are no regulation changes proposed with these updates. The National Mitigation Planning Program is  working to set up a way of soliciting and collecting feedback that complies with Office of Management and Budget and Federal Emergency Management Agency legal requirements.

We encourage state and local partners to sign up for the Mitigation Planning GovDelivery to stay updated and receive notification when we begin feedback collection. FEMA is also planning to host a listening session during the 2020 Hazard Mitigation Partners Workshop at the Emergency Management Institute March 23-26, 2020. We encourage all those in attendance to join us.

Hazard Mitigation Planning News and Events


Planning Information Exchange: Upcoming Free Webinar on "Increasing Our Resiliency to Urban Flooding"

In coordination with FEMA, the American Planning Association (APA) and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) presents the November 2019 Planning Information Exchange webinar. PIE is a free quarterly webinar series focusing on tools, best practices and strategies on the role of hazard mitigation planning and its connections with other community planning and hazard risk reduction initiatives.  To register for upcoming webinars, or to see recordings of past webinars visit

New Guide on Drought Planning Developed through FEMA CTP Grant

With funding from a FEMA Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) grant, the American Planning Association, (APA) has just released a new document entitled Falling Dominoes: A Planner’s Guide to Drought and Cascading Impacts. Climate projections indicate that droughts will become longer and cover more area over the next century and drought can exacerbate other hazards such as flooding, wildfire, and debris flows.  This Guide provides planners and allied professionals with opportunities to address the drought hazard by helping planners become more familiar with drought as a unique hazard and to understand the interrelatedness of drought to other hazards. The Guide emphasizes the integration of drought into the network of local plans, like the comprehensive plan, and offers advice on how to consider drought and its effects for mitigation planning, including risk assessments and mitigation strategies. The Guide was informed by a survey of the APA membership on planning and drought as well an interdisciplinary drought summit in 2018 that was attended by multiple federal and state agency representatives and other organizations concerned with drought. 

The Guide is available at

For more information on the project see:

FEMA Launches New Training on State Hazard Mitigation Planning 

State hazard mitigation plans are long-term blueprints for reducing natural hazard risk. These plans engage a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across the State government, non-profits, and private industry. In the 2015 State Mitigation Plan Review Guide, FEMA clarified that stakeholders from the seven sectors in the National Mitigation Framework needed to be engaged in the planning process. FEMA developed a new training product to provide the seven sectors as well as State agency staff an understanding of the policies and procedures required for State hazard mitigation plans.

This course is a self-paced independent study hosted by the Emergency Management Institute. It addresses both standard and enhanced State mitigation planning. A follow-up companion training, L-329: State Mitigation Planning Workshop, will be an instructor-led course that provides methods and approaches for State mitigation planning. For more information, contact

Mitigation Plan Requirement for the New High Hazard Potential Dams Grant Program 

FEMA recently launched the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) Grant Program.  The HHPD Grant Program, administered by the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP), provides technical, planning, design, and construction assistance in the form of grants to non-Federal governmental organizations or nonprofit organizations for rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams. To be eligible to receive funding,  the state as applicant and any local governments as subapplicants must “have in place a hazard mitigation plan that includes all dam risks and complies with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390, 114 Stat. 1552).” More information can be found in the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NoFO).

Mitigation Planning Program Resource List

The Mitigation Planning Program Resource List is available as a resource for state, local, and tribal governments that engage in mitigation planning to help identify risks associated with natural disasters and to develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. This list provides communities resources to help guide the development and implementation of their hazard mitigation plans. 

Additional Information

Please visit the Hazard Mitigation Assistance page for more information on funding available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.

Last Updated: 
02/11/2020 - 17:14