DENVER – This week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved North Dakota’s Mitigation Plan. For the first time the plan meets the criteria for “enhanced” status, signifying the state’s commitment to hazard mitigation and making the state eligible for increased federal mitigation funding. North Dakota will be the first state in FEMA Region VIII and the twelfth nationwide to achieve the designation.
“North Dakota is a leader in hazard mitigation, having undertaken many projects over the years to make the state and its residents more resilient against future disasters,” said FEMA Region VIII Administrator Lee dePalo. “Completing this enhanced plan is just the latest step and I congratulate the state for being an example to the rest of the nation.”
The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services served as the lead in developing the plan, while incorporating input from other state, local, tribal, and federal agencies, the private sector, and the general public. The plan identifies hazards within the state and identifies actions that can be taken to minimize the impacts of those hazards to lives and property. The plan addresses both natural and human-caused events, with cyberattack, flooding and severe winter storms identified as the top three hazards.
FEMA provides additional incentives to states and tribes through enhanced mitigation plans. A state or tribe with a FEMA-approved enhanced mitigation plan can receive more funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) after a disaster declaration. Those with an enhanced plan receive HMGP funds based on 20% of the total estimated eligible Stafford Act disaster assistance, versus 15% for those with non-enhanced mitigation plans.
To receive FEMA approval of an enhanced mitigation plan, a state or tribal government must demonstrate that it has developed a comprehensive mitigation program and is capable of managing increased funding to achieve its mitigation goals.