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Hazard Mitigation Planning

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.

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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.

Hazard Mitigation Planning News and Events

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).

FEMA Releases Tribal Mitigation Planning Handbook

The National Mitigation Planning Program recently released the Tribal Mitigation Planning Handbook (Tribal Handbook). The Tribal Handbook is a tool for Tribal governments to use as they develop and implement their hazard mitigation plans. The Handbook provides practical approaches, resources, worksheets, and advice for Tribal governments in the mitigation planning process.

The Tribal Handbook is organized around the seven recommended steps for developing a Tribal mitigation plan. It begins with an overview of the planning process, then reviews each step of the process in more detail. Finally, the Tribal Handbook provides considerations for how to implement the mitigation plan, advance mitigation activities, and incorporate risk reduction into other Tribal plans and programs. Appendices with resources and worksheets are also included.

The Tribal Handbook is a companion to the Tribal Mitigation Review Guide (December 2018), which is FEMA’s official interpretation of the Tribal mitigation planning regulations at 44 CFR 201.7.

Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide Effective

On December 5, 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide (Tribal Guide). This Guide, went effective on December 5, 2018, and is FEMA’s official policy on the natural hazard mitigation planning requirements for tribal hazard mitigation plans in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Act and Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 201. Tribal governments engage in the mitigation planning process to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and establish a long-term strategy for protecting people and property in future hazard events. A FEMA-approved tribal mitigation plan is one of the conditions of eligibility for certain FEMA assistance, such as Public Assistance Categories C through G and Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants. The Tribal Guide is available in the FEMA library at

Mitigation Planning and American Planning Association's Planning Information Exchanges (PIE) Webinars

FEMA continues to partner with the American Planning Association (APA) and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) to offer a free quarterly webinar series to share challenges, best practices, and evolving methods and techniques in hazard mitigation planning. The purpose of the webinar series is to encourage peer-to-peer learning and the exchange of information among a national and international audience.

The Planning Information Exchange (PIE) focuses on multi-hazard mitigation planning, and it also emphasizes the connections with recovery planning and preparedness. APA and ASFPM are co-conveners of all webinars and select topics and presenters. Participants can earn one continuing education credit through APA and ASFPM.

This webinar covered the General Accounting Standards Board (GASB)’s Statement 62, along with the new 2018 Implementation Guidance, which provides the opportunity for public utilities to capitalize expenses in distributed infrastructure. To register for a PIE, or to view recordings of prior webinars, visit the APA website.

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: 
07/19/2019 - 12:13