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Hazard Mitigation Planning Resources

This page provides resources for state, tribal, and local officials and other parties engaged in developing and implementing hazard mitigation plans.

State Mitigation Planning Key Topics Bulletins

The State Mitigation Planning Key Topics Bulletins (“Bulletins”) are a series of brief documents that provide approaches and resources state officials can use to update State Hazard Mitigation Plans.   The Bulletins are aimed at informing states on how to meet the regulatory and policy requirements in the updated State Mitigation Plan Review Guide, which became effective on March 6, 2016.

Local Mitigation Planning Handbook

The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook (Handbook) is a tool for local governments to use in developing or updating local hazard mitigation plans. The Handbook offers practical approaches, tools, and examples for how communities can engage in effective planning to reduce long-term risk from natural hazards and disasters. The Handbook complements and references the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide (available in Spanish: Guía de Revisión del Plan Local de Mitigación), FEMA’s official policy on and interpretation of the local hazard mitigation planning requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR Part 201).

Mitigation Planning Fact Sheets

The following fact sheets summarize key aspects of FEMA’s hazard mitigation planning program for state, tribal, and local government officials and other interested stakeholders.

Mitigation Grant Programs

FEMA requires state, tribal, and local governments to develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance. Please visit the main Hazard Mitigation Planning page for further explanation of these hazard mitigation plan requirements, and the following pages for more information on each grant program, including funding available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.

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

Integrating Mitigation with Related Planning Objectives

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) (2010) seeks to close the gap that exists between hazard mitigation planning and other local planning and regulatory land-use processes.
  • Planning for Post-disaster Recovery and Reconstruction (FEMA 421, PAS 483/484) (2005) 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.
  • Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas (PAS 584) was prepared by the American Planning Association (APA) in partnership with the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), and it was supported through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This report demonstrates the intersection of sustainability, resilience, and climate change in light of changing flood hazards and how these concepts play out in subdivision design.  This purpose of this report is end the cycle of build-damage-rebuild, and provide communities with sound guidance to bring subdivision design into line with the best of floodplain planning.  The report includes many best practices as well as six planning and design principles; standards for review, inspection, and maintenance; and nine recommendations to keep subdivisions safe from flooding.

Mitigation Activities

Tribal Resources

Disaster-Resistant Universities

  • Building a Disaster-Resistant University (FEMA 443) (2003) 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) (2005) 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.

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.

Last Updated: 
11/09/2016 - 10:43

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