Mitigation Resources


Click here for a list of Mitigation Resource Links


USGS publishesIdentifying and preserving high-water mark data: techniques and methods 3-A24  

March 18, 2016

The report serves as a field guide for identifying high-water marks and presents guidance and proper techniques for preserving, evaluating, and recording the data collected for use in surface-water modelling, flood documentation and much more.


EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure

January 13, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.  The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost.

Adequate wastewater infrastructure plays a vital role in the health of streams, rivers, and lakes, where discharged wastewater and stormwater runoff often end up. Wastewater infrastructure must also become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, stronger and more frequent storms, flooding, and drought.  Wastewater infrastructure improvements also support healthy economies. Construction projects create good-paying jobs, and where new facilities are built, workers are needed to operate and maintain them. Upgraded infrastructure results in cleaner water, which is essential for many businesses and sectors of the economy.

EPA launched the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center in January 2015 to work with states and communities to identify innovative financing strategies for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. The center recently selected regional Environmental Finance Centers to help communities across the country develop sustainable “how-to-pay” solutions to meet environmental goals. This financial expertise and technical assistance helps communities make informed funding decisions for resilient infrastructure projects that best meet local needs.  In addition, EPA offers financial assistance to address the types of infrastructure needs covered in the survey.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund has provided more than $111 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987, with $5.8 billion in FY 2015 alone. Grant funding is available through the Alaska Native Villages and Rural Communities program, the Clean Water Indian Set-Aside, and the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure program.

The $271 billion is primarily for projects needed within five years. The survey reported the following infrastructure needs:

  • Secondary wastewater treatment: $52.4 billion to meet secondary treatment standards. Secondary treatment uses biological processes to meet the minimum level of treatment required by law.
  • Advanced wastewater treatment: $49.6 billion to provide upgrades so treatment plants can attain a level of treatment more protective than secondary treatment. Advanced treatment may also treat nonconventional or toxic pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonia or metals.
  • Conveyance system repair: $51.2 billion to rehabilitate and repair conveyance systems.
  • New conveyance systems: $44.5 billion to install new sewer collection systems, interceptor sewers and pumping stations.
  • Combined sewer overflow correction: $48 billion to prevent periodic discharges of mixed stormwater and untreated wastewater during wet-weather events.
  • Stormwater management programs: $19.2 billion to plan and implement structural and nonstructural measures to control polluted runoff from storm events.
  • Recycled water distribution: $6.1 billion for conveyance and further treatment of wastewater for reuse.

Visit for more information on the report.


Green Infrastructure Wizard Connects Communities to Resources

EPA released a new web-based tool, the Green Infrastructure Wizard (GIWiz), to help local officials and community members find tools and resources more easily. GIWiz offers quick, direct access to Green Infrastructure tools and resources that can support and promote water management and community planning decisions. Users can produce customized reports that include links to the resources they want to use.  Click to Use the Wizard to search for resources for your community.


Unified Federal Review Process Newsletter Dec 2015  The UFR Newsletter serves as outreach to multiple federal, tribal, state and local stakeholders as a way to showcase UFR Process efforts aimed at supporting communities affected by disaster. The newsletter allows agencies to stay involved with efforts to further develop a UFR Process across the nation.

Flood Loss Avoidance Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management. December 2015. This EPA modeling study estimates the flood loss avoidance benefits from application of small storm retention practices for new development and redevelopment nationwide. Twenty HUC8 watersheds were modeled in areas where significant growth is expected between 2020 and 2040, using the FEMA Hazus model and national-scale datasets. The area of the watersheds ranges between 500 and 3,000 square miles. The study was conducted in consultation with other federal agencies including the US Army Corps of Engineers,  NOAA, and FEMA.

The approach was vetted by a panel of experts from government, academia, and industry. The results show that, over time, the use of green stormwater infrastructure can save hundreds of millions of dollars in flood losses, while just applying the practices to new development and redevelopment only. If retrofitting were to occur, the avoided losses would be even more significant. Download the document: Flood Loss Avoidance Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management.

Flood Resilience Guide to protect utilities.  Introducing EPA’s tool, Flood Resilience: A Basic Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities, which was designed for small and medium drinking water and utilities and includes interactive worksheets, instructional videos, and flood maps. With a user-friendly layout, embedded videos, and flood maps to guide you, EPA’s Flood Resilience Guide is your one-stop resource to protect your critical assets.


FY 2015 HMA Guidance

FEMA has released the Fiscal Year 15 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance and Addendum.  This document is applicable for disasters declared on or after February 27, 2015.

Significant changes have been made to the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Guidance, a comprehensive document that details the specific criteria of the three HMA programs: the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs. The Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) HMA Guidance provides stakeholders with updates and refinements of program policies and practice. These enhancements will promote resilience, and streamline application review, eligibility requirements, project cost estimate and implementation.  Changes to the HMA Program Guidance include:

  • Climate Change/Resilience: Recognizes challenges posed by climate change that may have impacts on mitigation. Applicants and sub-applicants can use the additional HMGP 5 percent initiative toward adopting and/or incorporating disaster resistant building codes.
  • 2 Code of Federal Regulations Part 200: The OMB Super Circular: Adopts the regulations in the OMB Super Circular that outlines the federal government’s framework for grants management, and are applicable to FEMA grants issued on or after December 26, 2014.
  • New Benefit-Cost Analysis Methodologies: Incorporates new methodologies for residential hurricane wind projects and the acquisition of properties in landslide hazard areas that are at risk of immediate threat.
  • Various Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) Clarifications: Enhances efforts to streamline the EHP review process, including defining the frontloading process (promoting the fuller consideration of EHP compliance requirements and impacts to a proposed project during project development).
  • Resources and Job Aids: Includes 23 resources and job aids to assist in HMA program delivery.  Examples are:
    • Homeowner’s Guide to the HMGP answers some common questions that homeowners have about implementing post-disaster projects.
    • Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation job aid discusses FEMA programs designed to promote community resilience.
    • Closeout Toolkit includes frequently asked questions and a checklist to help recipients prepare for sub-award closeout activities.
    • EHP Section 106 Overview includes process flowchart and information on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision making process.

The HMA Guidance consolidates each program’s eligibility information, outlines the common elements, and spells out the unique requirements among the programs so that federal, state, federally recognized tribal, territorial, and local officials can easily identify key similarities between the various programs. For more information, visit


FHWA Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA’s) Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework is a guide and collection of resources for use in analyzing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on transportation infrastructure.  Its purpose is to identify key considerations, questions, and resources that can be used to design and implement a climate change vulnerability assessment.  The processes, lessons learned, and resources outlined in the framework are geared toward State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other agencies involved in planning, building, or maintaining the transportation system.  It includes suggestions and examples applicable to a wide range of applications, from small qualitative studies to large, detailed, data-intensive analyses.

Download the FHA Climate Change and Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework.


National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) GIS Data Available for Download 

The following changes were made to the MSC Product Catalog and Map Search:

  • National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Data is searchable through Map Search
  • County and State NFHL databases are downloadable from MSC Product Catalog
  • Effective FIRM Databases are no longer be available for purchase and users instead are directed to download the effective NFHL data at no charge. Future Effective FIRM Databases will still be available for purchase.

If you have any questions please contact the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) at 1-877-FEMA-MAP.


Check Your Community’s Preliminary Flood Hazard Data

FEMA released a new authoritative source for Preliminary Flood Hazard Data (preliminary data)! Moving forward, preliminary data will be available to the public in a centralized and easily accessible location, along with FEMA’s other flood mapping products and tools.  As data are released, they will populate in the new preliminary data search tool. You may access this tool through the Preliminary Flood Hazard Data FEMA webpage, or through FEMA’s Map Service Center (MSC) Product Catalog. Preliminary data available include new or revised preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, and FIRM Databases.  This preliminary data search tool provides:

  • Centralized access and simple navigation to nation-wide preliminary flood hazard data
  • Quick and easy search functions
  • Ability to search for data by state and county
  • FEMA Mapping Information eXchange (FMIX) customer service support
  • Accessibility of both preliminary and effective data from the MSC


Some Other Important Publications …

Emergency Power Systems for Critical Facilities: A Best Practices Approach to Improving Reliability (FEMA P-1019) 
March 2015.  There is a significant likelihood that utility power will not be available for an extended period of time during severe natural hazard events. Thus, it is necessary for critical facilities to have reliable sources of sustained electrical power to achieve continued operation. This new publication provides guidance on the design and operation of emergency power systems in critical facilities so that they will be able to remain operational for extended periods, as needed.

This document examines the vulnerability of electrical power systems to natural hazards, describes what equipment in critical facilities should be supplied by emergency power sources, how long the emergency power may be needed, the specific equipment needs of different types of critical facilities, and how emergency power can be supplied. It provides guidance on how to assess the risks and vulnerabilities to the electrical power system, identifying performance goals for an emergency power system, and the importance of having realistic emergency management policies that address emergency power.  FEMA P-1019 is available in print and can also be downloaded for free at:

Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration Projects.  September 2014.  The Environmental Law Institute and The Nature Conservancy released a new handbook to advance the use of a watershed approach in the selection, design, and siting of wetland and stream restoration and protection projects, including projects required as compensatory mitigation for permitted activities.  The joint report, Watershed Approach Handbook: Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration and Protection Projects demonstrates how using a watershed approach can help ensure that these projects also contribute to goals of improved water quality, increased flood mitigation,improved quality and quantity of habitat, and increases in other ecological services and benefits.

Planning and Building Livable, Safe & Sustainable Communities – Patchwork_Quilt_Approach 2012.  A white paper from the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA).  Link here to the Planning and Building Livable, Safe & Sustainable Communities- Patchwork_Quilt_Approach 2012.

Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes®: Coordinating Building Codes and Floodplain Management Regulations (4th Edition)September 2014.  A joint effort by the International Code Council and FEMA, this edition is a significant change from earlier versions.  It has new content to describe the differences between NFIP regulations and I-Code requirements for buildings, identifies pertinent questions that should be answered in the context of each State’s or local community’s existing statutes and codes, and offers examples of Cover photo for the document: Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Floodplain Management Regulations, 4th Edition (2014)how the I-Codes can be modified to incorporate even higher standards to increase resistance to flood damage.

Also new in this edition is an introduction and link to download three versions of a model floodplain management ordinance that satisfies NFIP requirements and coordinates with the flood provisions of the I-Codes.  Communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can rely on the 2009 and later editions of the International Codes® (I‑Codes) to form the basis of their floodplain management practices. The flood provisions in these editions meet or exceed the minimum NFIP requirements for buildings and structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas and contain a number of higher standards.  Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes®(4th Edition)is available at  The model ordinance can be downloaded at:

Quick Reference Guide: Comparison of Select NFIP & Building Code Requirements for Special Flood Hazard Areas  (March 2012) The Quick Reference Guide  is an 8-page guide that highlights the similarities and differences between the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) minimum requirements and the requirements of the International Code Series (I-Codes) and ASCE 24, Flood Resistant Design and Construction, a standard referenced by the I-Codes. Among the features contrasted are foundation types, lowest floor elevations,enclosures below elevated buildings, and utilities requirements within the NFIP and I-Codes for most residential and commercial buildings.

Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures. The third edition of Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures (FEMA P 259)  is now available from the FEMA Publications Warehouse! To read more about the document and for other information, see the article here: [Full Article].


EHP Publications  

Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) At-A-Glance:  This document provides provides information on how to incorporate environmental and historic preservation considerations into your Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant application and project.


Benefit/Cost Publication

FEMA Benefit Cost Toolkit Version 5.3  January 10, 2017  The Benefit Cost Tool Version 5.3 is used to perform benefit cost analysis for applications submitted under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs.  To use this tool, you must link to FEMA’s Benefit Cost Toolkit Version 5.3 to download the compressed file , extract and save the file in one folder on your computer. While the program is installing, additional file sets will be downloaded from the internet. Make sure to maintain access to the internet until the program is fully installed. If you have any questions about the new BCA software program, please contact the BC Helpline at or at 1-855-540-6744. 



USGS Fact Sheet  – USGS Emergency Response Resources

A new USGS Emergency Response Resources Fact Sheet is available.   This is a quick reference guide to USGS response resources including:

  • real-time information for flooding, earthquakes, landslides, and volcanoes
  • flood and hurricane databases
  • geospatial data and services supporting emergency response
  • USGS offices supporting emergency response

Link to the fact sheet USGS Emergency Response Resources.


FEMA Mitigation Planning Publications

  • Mitigation Ideas:  Mitigation Ideas provides a range of potential mitigation actions for reducing risk to natural hazards and disasters. Ideas for mitigation actions are presented for the following natural hazards: drought, earthquake, erosion, extreme temperatures, flood, hail, landslide, lightning, sea level rise, severe wind, severe winter weather, storm surge, subsidence, tornado, tsunami, and wildfire.
  • Frameworks: How We Work Together to Build, Sustain, and Deliver Capabilities to Ensure a Secure and Resilient Nation:  The Federal Government and its partners released three of five National Planning Frameworks. These National Planning Frameworks, document the roles and responsibilities of the whole community in all facets of national preparedness. The benefit of this unified effort is  a more informed, shared understanding of risks, needs, and capabilities across the whole community; and, in the end, a more secure and resilient nation.  The whole community—individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs; businesses and nonprofits; schools; media; and all levels of government—is encouraged to read and use each Framework.  Read more on KAMM’s Mitigation Resource page.
  • The Stafford Act constitutes the statutory authority for most Federal disaster response activities especially as they pertain to FEMA and FEMA programs.  FEMA, through its Office of Chief Counsel, has produced an updated electronic version of the Stafford Act.  Download the Stafford Act, stafford_act_booklet_04 22 13.   Some highlights and new features:  Contains all changes to the Stafford Act since 2007, including the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) of 2013.  The document is optimized for portable tablet devices:From the Table of Contents, you can click on the statute name or number and you’ll jump to the statutory text.
  • National Planning Frameworks: How We Work Together to Build, Sustain, and Deliver Capabilities to Ensure a Secure and Resilient Nation  The Federal Government and its partners today released three of five National Planning Frameworks. These National Planning Frameworks, document the roles and responsibilities of the whole community in all facets of national preparedness. The benefit of this unified effort is  a more informed, shared understanding of risks, needs, and capabilities across the whole community; and, in the end, a more secure and resilient nation.  The Frameworks outline how the whole community can take steps to collectively achieve the National Preparedness Goal.  The whole community—individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs; businesses and nonprofits; schools; media; and all levels of government—is encouraged to read and use each Framework.The three Frameworks released today are:

The National Prevention Framework. Focuses on avoiding, preventing, or stopping a threatened or actual act of terrorism. While other mission areas focus on all hazards, including natural disasters, Prevention focuses solely on terrorism. Specifically on imminent acts of terrorism on U.S. soil.

The National Mitigation Framework. Refers to reducing the loss of life and property by lessening the effects of disasters. This means, for example, taking actions now that would reduce property damage when a hurricane strikes. Mitigation also involves actions that improve our ability to bounce back after disasters. Resilience is a key focus.

The National Response Framework. Covers the capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred. The National Response Framework was updated from the familiar 2008 version.

The National Planning Frameworks are part of the National Preparedness System, which outlines the tools and processes to help us achieve national preparedness.  To download the Frameworks and view the complementary tutorial, visit:


Private Sector More Tools and Information includes a dedicated portal where the private sector can find resources and information covering the whole emergency management cycle. This portal also includes social media applications, such as Twitter and a widget, information on training, grants, other federal resources, and weekly tips:







KAMM mailing address: KAMM, PO Box 1016, Frankfort, KY 40602-1016. Have questions, contact us at  Don’t forget to join the KAMM group on LinkedIn .