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Portland, Oregon, residents now save 25% in flood insurance premiums — an average $365 per policy in the Special Flood Hazard Area — as a result of Portland’s continued focus on floodplain management and flood risk reduction.
Multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation planning can be an effective process to build partnerships between communities that face common hazard risks, leading to shared solutions. It can also help build a foundation to shift priorities as risks and vulnerabilities change.
A good hazard mitigation plan assesses a community's risk and prioritizes solutions to address that risk. It is created by community experts with input from various stakeholders including the public-those who live and work in the community.
The purpose of mitigation planning is for state, local, and tribal governments to identify the natural hazards that affect them and develop a mitigation strategy to reduce potential losses from these hazards. Many communities, especially those with limited capacity, struggle to develop and evaluate meaningful mitigation strategies that match their capability and resources to carry out.
Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Stow, Massachusetts -- Peter Ostroskey explains how the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy uses a laundromat-on-wheels to clean and maintain 600 sets of turnout gear.
In 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study in New York City, NY to understand how the city uses preparedness funds to increase its ability to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks.
The Hazus Team worked with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to map coastal flood losses avoided due to coral reef protection across Hawaii. Results from this project can help guide future nature-based mitigation initiatives.
Universities are not required to complete hazard mitigation plans. Most do not, instead relying on and participating in their local jurisdiction or county plan. The county hazard mitigation plan covers a broad geographic area and did not have the level of detail needed to take all the university associated risks into account. East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is like a small city with unique risks and vulnerabilities, which are spread out among several smaller ancillary campuses in different jurisdictions. Andrew Worley, the university’s emergency management specialist, explained that “we felt that there were specific needs and concerns about a university campus that may not apply to cities and counties.” For example, the university maintains its own critical facilities, such as its emergency operations center, food services, power plant and telecommunications buildings.
Coastal communities face a range of flooding hazards that include storm surge, waves and erosion—all of which can severely damage homes, businesses and infrastructure. Waves, in particular, can damage properties located farther inland than one would expect. Some communities use the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) to inform the adoption of higher building codes and standards in areas vulnerable to waves.