DENVER – This week, FEMA approved South 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. South Dakota will be the second state in FEMA Region VIII and the thirteenth nationwide to achieve the designation.
“South Dakota developing an enhanced mitigation plan demonstrates their commitment to building more resilient communities,” said FEMA Region VIII Administrator Lee dePalo. “I commend the state for taking this initiative, which will have lasting benefits for all South Dakotans.”
The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management 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 flooding, winter storms, and wildfires identified as the top three hazards. It also includes the State’s Drought Mitigation Plan.
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 percent of the total estimated eligible Stafford Act disaster assistance, versus 15 percent 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.