Hazard Mitigation Planning & Resources

 

Overview

Successful mitigation activities, including those assisted by HMA programs, are based on well-crafted mitigation plans. Mitigation plans allow state, local, tribal and territorial governments to organize their long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future natural hazard events after assessing all disaster risks and vulnerabilities common to their planning areas. The mitigation planning process is prescribed in regulations and should result in mitigation actions based on a fair, logical and fact-based thought process. The mitigation plan must be adopted by the jurisdiction and approved by FEMA unless otherwise delegated. Adoption and approval of state, local, tribal and territorial plans are eligibility requirements for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), HMGP Post Fire, Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs. State and tribal mitigation plans are also eligibility requirements for Public Assistance Categories C-G, Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs), and the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grants. These plans need to be updated every five years to account for changing risk profiles and priorities.


Announcing FEMA’s Updated Trainings on State and Local Mitigation Planning

Are you involved in state or local hazard mitigation planning? Register today for one of FEMA’s independent study courses! The two updated courses are IS-318.A: Local Mitigation Planning Training and IS-329.A: State Mitigation Planning Training. 

These newly updated courses will help you understand the fundamentals of state and local hazard mitigation planning. Both courses are free and open to the public. Students interested in either training should register for a FEMA Student Identification Number (FEMA SID). The SID is needed to take the final exam and receive credit. 

These courses cover policies and procedures for local and state planning. They have been updated to reflect FEMA’s updated Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide and State Mitigation Planning Policy Guide (effective April 19, 2023). IS-329.A also covers enhanced requirements for state plans. 

IS-318.A: Local Mitigation Planning Training

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

Identify the three guiding principles that are used in plan review.
Describe the requirements for local hazard mitigation plans.
Describe how the Plan Review Tool is used in the plan review  process.
Describe the plan review and approval procedures for local  mitigation plans.

The estimated course length is 3.2 hours. Participants that complete the course and pass the final exam will earn 0.3 continuing education credits.

To take this course or learn more, visit the EMI web page.

IS-329.A: State Mitigation Planning Training

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

Identify three guiding principles that are used in plan review.
Describe the requirements for standard state hazard        mitigation plans.
Describe the requirements for enhanced state hazard mitigation plans.
Describe the submittal and review procedures for both standard and enhanced state hazard mitigation plans.
Know where to find additional resources.

To take this course or learn more, visit the EMI web page.

The estimated course length is 4 hours. Participants that complete the course and pass the final exam will earn 0.4 continuing education credits.

Visit the Mitigation Planning Training page for information on these courses and other trainings, including YouTube recordings.

Questions? Email fema-mitigation-planning@fema.dhs.gov.


New Course for Community Planners Available on APA Learn

Every planner can help build a resilient future. A new FEMA-funded course helps community planners know their role in hazard mitigation, build mitigation skills, and work towards community resilience.

Planners can enroll today for Planning, Mitigating, and Advocating for Community Resilience!

Emergency managers are encouraged to share this course with community planners and planning departments.

By the end of this course, participants will:

Know how mitigation plans and actions work together to boost community resilience.
Be able to work with emergency managers and local staff to put together a mitigation planning process.
Be ready for challenges in mitigation planning. These may include a lack of joint efforts with planners, as well as poor integration of other local plans and tools.
Use planning tools (such as zoning or capital improvement) as mitigation actions.
Work with local leaders, staff, the public, and others to push for mitigation planning and reducing risk.
This course is eligible for 1.75 CM credits for American Planning Association (APA) members of the American Institute of Certified Planners. It is also free!

The APA hosts this course. To learn more, visit the APA Learn web page.

Do you have questions?

Send an email to fema-mitigation-planning@fema.dhs.gov.


 

Results from the 2023 National Household Survey on Disaster Preparedness

FEMA has released the results of the 2023 National Household Survey on Disaster Preparedness. To review the survey results, download the summary presentation.Since 2013, FEMA has conducted the National Household Survey on Disaster Preparedness. This survey of people from across the United States gauges the nation’s disaster preparedness actions, attitudes, and motivations. The 2023 survey conducted from February 1 through March 14, 2023 included over 7,600 responses. Results from the 2023 survey indicate that slightly more than half (51%) of Americans believe they are prepared for a disaster and 57% took three or more actions to prepare for a disaster within the last year. The most common actions people took to prepare for a disaster were assembling or updating disaster supplies (48%) and making a plan (37%); the least common actions were planning with neighbors (12%) and getting involved in their community (14%).Read Key Findings and more…

FEMA Releases Updated Local Mitigation Planning Handbook

The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook is a plain-language tool to help local governments develop or update hazard mitigation plans. It gives guidance, case studies, definitions and resources that help make mitigation planning easier.  

Hazard mitigation plans are blueprints to build resilient communities. Plans pinpoint natural hazard risks and vulnerabilities in the planning area. Then planners develop strategies to reduce these risks and vulnerabilities.

Hazard Mitigation Planning Process

On April 19, 2023, the new Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide went into effect. The updated Handbook provides more details on ways to develop mitigation plans that meet the policy and regulatory requirements.  

Updates to the Handbook include new material on how to plan for climate change and other future conditions. The Handbook also covers how to create more equitable outcomes through mitigation planning. The Handbook is a resource anyone can use. It is great for local governments and planning teams with any level of knowledge.

FEMA’s National Mitigation Planning Program supports state, local, tribal and territory governments with risk-based mitigation planning to reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from natural hazards. The program focuses on building resilience through early and often stakeholder engagement, integration with community planning, and implementation of mitigation actions. For more information, visit Hazard Mitigation Planning | FEMA.gov.


The Role of Local Leadership

How Can Local Leaders Promote the Integration of Hazard Mitigation into Local Planning? 

Local community leaders and decision makers play an important role in setting priorities, providing overarching policy direction, and bringing stakeholders together.  Their visibility can be used to spearhead initiatives that promote the importance of integrating hazard mitigation to achieve overall community safety and resilience.  In addition, they have the ability to communicate with a broad base of constituents and partners.  These qualities are invaluable for the success of an integrated, interdepartmental, multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation strategy. 


Watch and Learn: Incorporating Future Conditions in Mitigation Plans

Watch the training webinar, “Investing in Our Future, Planning Now: Addressing Future Climate, Population and Land Use in Mitigation Planning.”

As the frequency and intensity of natural disaster events increase, it is important to account for future conditions when developing a hazard mitigation plan for approval.  Future conditions include the impacts of a changing climate, the built environment and changes in population and land use.  It’s crucial to recognize how these conditions will impact people, including those who are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters and underserved in the resources they receive to recover.

The webinar provides ideas, resources and examples of how to integrate future conditions information into the hazard mitigation planning process to increase overall resilience.  The intended audience for this training is state, local, tribal and territorial governments and other private sector and non-government partners involved in developing hazard mitigation plans.

Watch the one-hour 15-minute training on FEMA’s YouTube channel.


FEMA Updates the Climate Risk and Resilience (ClimRR) Portal 

The Climate Risk and Resilience Portal (ClimRR) is an award-winning, free, national online source for sophisticated climate data down to the neighborhood level.  ClimRR provides easy access to climate data to integrate future conditions into Hazard Mitigation Plans, land use plans, infrastructure design, and FEMA’s Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT).

ClimRR data is available for changing hazards: extreme temperatures (hot and cold), cooling and heating degree days, heat index, wind, fire weather index, precipitation/no precipitation under two carbon emission scenarios. The updated portal lets users visualize and analyze future climate hazards combined with local demographic and infrastructure data. Enhanced features include:

  • New Consolidated Local Reports Assessing Future Climate Hazards and Community Impacts
  • New Maps, Charts & Visualizations
  • Improved Educational Features to Interpret Climate Hazard Data Points

 

 


 

Climate Adaptation Planning Guide for Emergency Managers

 


New Mitigation and Climate Action Planning Resources Available from the American Planning Association

FEMA’s National Mitigation Planning Program supports state, local, tribal and territory governments with risk-based mitigation planning to reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from natural hazards. The program focuses on building resilience through early and often stakeholder engagement, integration with community planning, and implementation of mitigation actions. For more information, visit Hazard Mitigation Planning | FEMA.gov.

With support from FEMA’s Cooperating Technical Partners program, the American Planning Association (APA) produced the following mitigation and climate action planning resources. Explore these resources via the links below.

Scenario planning can help planners make communities more resilient from future conditions; these conditions can include extreme weather and changing demographics. This PAS Memo offers guidance to planners on how to expand the use of foresight through exploratory scenario planning in both the hazard mitigation and climate adaptation fields.

 

For more resources that help communities integrate principles of hazard mitigation with planning efforts visit FEMA’s Implement, Integrate and Maintain Mitigation Planning Activities page.

 


FEMA Releases New Resource to Align Community Plans and Build Resilience

A new resource will help economic development and hazard mitigation planners achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and Hazard Mitigation Plan Alignment Guide connects economic development and hazard mitigation plans so communities can be more resilient from natural hazards.  The guide was a collaboration between FEMA and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Communities, states and federal officials can use the guide when preparing or reviewing FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plans and EDA Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies. Included in the guide are strategies to help align strategies with approved local plans.

Hazard mitigation plans and EDA Strategies are key plans to improve community resilience.  An EDA Strategy must include economic resilience in its approach while a hazard mitigation plan identifies and plans for natural hazard risks to key sectors, including the economy.  Aligning plans can benefit communities in many ways, including businesses reopening more quickly and keeping critical facilities and infrastructure working during and after hazard events.

Community partners will better coordinate, share priorities and actions that reduce risk and use a wide range of resources and funding when hazard mitigation and economic plans are aligned.  This is because plans reinforce each other and are easier to implement.

The guide includes economic development concepts to add to hazard mitigation plans.  It also encourages integration of information from risk assessments and hazard mitigation ideas to use in a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies.

To view and download the guide, link to The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and Hazard Mitigation Plan Alignment Guide


Pre-Disaster Planning & Resources

 

FEMA State Mitigation Planning Policy Guide

 

 

FEMA Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide

 

Acronyms – Link to our list KAMM Mitigation Acronyms.


 

Mitigation Matters!  

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