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Celebrate National Community Planning Month this October!

What is National Community Planning Month?

National Community Planning Month is a month-long event that focuses on the importance of community planning and its impacts. This year, the theme is Housing as Community Infrastructure and highlights the importance of housing as part of our community, and the critical role planning plays in building resilient houses and communities.

A man is seated to the left and pointing at a computer screen in front of him. Two woman stand behind his chair and are looking at what he's pointing to.
<p>Hauppague, N.Y., Jan. 16, 2015--FEMA held a week long training session using CommunityViz, a tool for evaluating the cumulative effects of community development decisions using a geographically-based analytic platform.The program can help governments or organizations conduct a comprehensive recovery planning process that engages local stakeholders. FEMA/K.C. Wilsey</p> Download Original

It’s About Where and How We Build

This “how” and “where” is so important as a new generation of homeowners and renters begins searching for their next home. Making the decision to invest your life and your money in a new home is a monumental decision – a decision that should encompass all of the facts, including how your home could be affected by floods, windstorms, or earthquakes. You as the homeowner need to be equipped with this information to make the best decision possible for you and your family. These are risks we all face and do our best to protect ourselves against. The actions we take ahead of a disaster can protect our homes and loved ones. Your state government has worked to identify what hazards affect your community, and what steps can be taken to reduce the effects of disasters.

Elevated green house and home owner's cars parked in the front
Highlands, N.J., Feb. 7, 2013 -- This home was elevated prior to Sandy and received only minor damage, but the homeowner has opted to utilize FEMA's new Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) guidelines to mitigate potential future damage. Photo by Rosanna Arias/FEMA Download Original

What Hazards Affect You?

Eighty-five percent of the nation is currently covered by a hazard mitigation plan. Hazard mitigation plans are documents that help communities understand what hazards affect them, how they are affected, and what actions the community can take to reduce the impacts of those hazards. These plans are an actionable roadmap to a more resilient community. To view if your county is part of a mitigation plan, or to see your state’s hazard mitigation plan, visit our searchable map.

More Information on Planning

Mitigation Planning

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.

Hazard mitigation plans can directly impact the “how” and “where” of how communities build. By understanding hazards, communities can reduce or even prevent damages to homes and businesses through community planning that incorporates mitigation priorities.

Building Science

Building Science develops and produces multi-hazard mitigation guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities to reduce loss of life and property.

American Planning Association: Hazards Planning Center

The Hazards Planning Center focuses its efforts into projects and policies that prioritize hazard mitigation, post-disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation.


Last Updated: 
10/02/2018 - 08:47