Hazard Mitigation Planning Resources

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This page provides resources for local government officials and other interested parties in the hazard mitigation planning process, including developing and implementing local mitigation plans and mitigation grant programs.

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Mitigation Planning Handbook

The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook (Handbook) is the official guide for local governments to develop, update and implement local mitigation plans. While the requirements under §201.6 have not changed, the Handbook provides guidance to local governments on developing or updating hazard mitigation plans to meet the requirements under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 44 – Emergency Management and Assistance §201.6, Local Mitigation Plans for FEMA approval and eligibility to apply for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. It also offers practical approaches, tools, worksheets and local mitigation planning examples for how communities can engage in effective planning to reduce long-term risk from natural hazards and disasters. The Handbook complements and liberally references the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide (October 1, 2011), which is the official guidance for federal and state officials responsible for reviewing local mitigation plans in a fair and consistent manner.

Mitigation Fact Sheets

Mitigation Grant Programs

State, Indian tribal and local governments are required to develop hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance. Grant programs with mitigation plan requirements include:

Sample Scope of Work for Mitigation Planning Grants may be downloaded from the FEMA Library.

Please visit the Mitigation Grant Programs page for more information on the specific plan requirements for the various mitigation grant programs, as well as FEMA funds available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.

Sustainability in Mitigation Planning

Planning Advisory Service Reports

The following reports were prepared by the American Planning Association (APA) and supported through contracts with FEMA.  Hard copies may be ordered through the APA Planners Book Service online or by phone at (312) 786-6344 (costs may apply).

  • Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning (PAS 560) seeks to close the gap that exists between hazard mitigation planning and other local planning and regulatory land-use processes. It introduces hazard mitigation as a vital area of practice for planners; provides guidance on how to integrate hazard mitigation strategies into comprehensive, area and functional plans; and shows where hazard mitigation can fit into zoning and subdivision codes.  Best practices in incorporating hazards into other local planning processes are provided for different hazards and demographics and a Safe Growth Audit is included to show how any locality large and small can evaluate how well their communities' plans and regulations address hazards. 
  • Planning for Post-disaster Recovery and Reconstruction (FEMA 421, PAS 483/484) is a landmark report for community planners for rebuilding and recovery after disasters and post-disaster reconstruction. It also guides development of a natural hazards element as part of a local, general, or comprehensive plan. Developed in partnership with APA.

Disaster-Resistant Universities

  • Building a Disaster-Resistant University (FEMA 443) is both a how-to guide and a distillation of the experiences of six universities and colleges that have been working to become more disaster-resistant. This guide provides basic information designed for institutions just getting started, as well as concrete ideas, suggestions and practical experiences for institutions that have already begun to take steps to becoming more disaster-resistant.
  • Building Partnerships to Reduce Hazard Risks (FEMA L-265) provides a brief explanation on the benefits to both universities and their local communities when they collaborate to reduce risks. Includes a list of public and private sector resources that provide planning assistance to academic institutions.

Mitigation Activities

Hazard Mitigation Planning: Practices for Land Use Planning and Development near Pipelines was prepared by the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) and is sponsored by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline Hazard Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with FEMA’s Risk Analysis Division, as a primer for incorporating pipeline hazards into hazard mitigation plans.  The goal is to provide emergency managers, planners and others involved with developing hazard mitigation plans with the knowledge and understanding of how pipelines operate, the common products that may be transported through transmission and distribution pipeline systems, the potential impacts (risks) of pipeline incidents, including those caused by natural hazards and mitigation strategies they can implement to reduce these risks.


Federal Partners

  • Environmental Protection Agency:  In 2010, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the FEMA-EPA Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the two agencies to work together to help communities become safer, healthier and more resilient. The two agencies will collaborate to help communities that have been hit by disasters to recover and mitigate in ways that protect the environment, create long-term economic prosperity and enhance neighborhoods.  FEMA and EPA will also help communities incorporate smart growth and climate adaptation strategies to improve quality of life and direct development away from vulnerable areas.

Read about some of the joint FEMA-EPA projects on EPA’s Smart Growth web pages.

Tribal Resources

Last Updated: 
06/18/2015 - 14:27
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