DENVER – This week, FEMA approved Colorado’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. Colorado will be the third state in FEMA Region VIII and the fifteenth nationwide to achieve the designation.
“Colorado completing an enhanced mitigation plan demonstrates their commitment to building more resilient communities,” said FEMA Region VIII Administrator Lee dePalo. “Taking this action will benefit citizens and communities in the state for years to come.”
The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and 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, wilfires, 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 percent of the total estimated eligible Stafford Act disaster assistance, versus 15 percent for those with non-enhanced mitigation plans. Colorado’s Enhanced State Mitigation Plan was developed in coordination with the Colorado Climate Plan and Colorado’s Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.
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.