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This page introduces hazard mitigation planning and its benefits. State, tribal, local officials, and members of the public interested in hazard mitigation planning may find this information most useful.
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Hazard mitigation works to reduce loss of life and property by reducing the impact of disasters. Through effective mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation strategies greater risk reduction can be achieved. State, tribal, and local governments undertake hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities related to natural disasters. Through planning, they develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.
Hazard mitigation plans enable state, tribal, and local governments to:
- Increase education and awareness around threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities;
- Build partnerships for risk reduction with governments, organizations, businesses, and the public;
- Identify long-term, thorough strategies and achieve risk reduction;
- Align risk reduction with other state, tribal, or community objectives;
- Identify implementation actions to focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities; and
- Connect priorities to potential funding sources
- Increase investment in mitigation actions.
A FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is needed to receive certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects.
Below are new guidance resources, news, and events related to hazard mitigation planning.
Hazard Mitigation Planning News And Events
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 often referred to as the Plan Review Guides. In addition to meeting FEMA’s routine policy review and update timeframes, these policies will be updated to clarify language and to reflect recent legislative changes, related policy updates, and feedback from States and stakeholders. There are no regulation changes proposed with these updates.
The FEMA National Mitigation Planning Program will be seeking feedback on the Guides. This includes a listening session on the State and Local Guide updates 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.
We also encourage state and local partners to sign up for the Mitigation Planning GovDelivery to stay updated and receive notification on engagement opportunities: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSFEMA/subscriber/new
Planning Information Exchange: Webinar Recording Available on "Increasing Our Resiliency to Urban Flooding"
In coordination with FEMA, the American Planning Association (APA) and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) hosted the November 2019 Planning Information Exchange webinar. This webinar focused on "Increasing Our Resiliency to Urban Flooding" and highlighted the risks of urban flooding. The webinar panel offered strategies to deal with urban flooding. To view the slides or the recording of this webinar, visit https://www.planning.org/nationalcenters/hazards/planninginformationexchange/.
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) released Falling Dominoes: A Planner’s Guide to Drought and Cascading Impacts.
Climate projections point toward droughts becoming longer and covering more area over the next century. Drought can worsen other hazards, like flooding, wildfire, and debris flows. Planners and allied professionals can better address drought hazards with information from this Guide. The Guide details drought as a unique hazard and how drought relates to other hazards. It also emphasizes integrating drought into the network of local plans, like the comprehensive plan. The Guide 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 and input from 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 https://www.planning.org/publications/document/9188906/
For more information on the project, see: https://www.planning.org/blog/blogpost/9158329/
FEMA Launches New Trainings on State Hazard Mitigation Planning
State hazard mitigation plans are long-term blueprints for lowering natural hazard risk. State agency staff and stakeholders from the Whole Community, as described in the 2015 State Mitigation Plan Review Guide, need to be engaged in the planning process. The new training products provide the Whole Community an overview of the policies and procedures required for State hazard mitigation plans.
There are two new State trainings. The first course, IS-329, is a self-paced independent study hosted by the Emergency Management Institute. It addresses both standard and enhanced State mitigation planning. The companion training, L-329: State Mitigation Planning Workshop, is an instructor-led course that provides methods and approaches for State mitigation planning. For more information, contact FEMA-Mitigation-Planning@fema.dhs.gov.
Mitigation Plan Requirement for the New High Hazard Potential Dams Grant Program
FEMA launched the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) Grant Program in 2019, administered by the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP). The HHPD Grant Program provides technical, planning, design, and construction grants to non-Federal governmental organizations or nonprofit organizations for rehabilitating high hazard potential dams. To be eligible for funding, the State as applicant and any local governments as sub-applicants 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 is in the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) Grant Program FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NoFO).
Mitigation Planning Program Resource List
The Mitigation Planning Program Resource List has resources for State, local, and tribal governments to help guide the development and implementation of hazard mitigation plans. It provides resources for every step in the process, including how to review policies, update plans, and request funds.
- Need to know mitigation planning requirements? Begin with the Laws, Regulations, & Policies and Plan Requirement pages.
- Looking for your plan’s status? Visit the Plan Status page.
- Looking to develop or update your plan? Browse the Mitigation Planning Process, Resources, Tribal Mitigation Planning Resources, Risk Assessment, and Mitigation Program Integration.
- Need additional help? Refer to available Training, FAQs, and FEMA and State Contacts.
Please visit the Hazard Mitigation Assistance page for more information on funding available for mitigation plan development and projects.