Mitigation Plans form the foundation for a community's long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. The planning process is as important as the plan itself. It creates a framework for risk-based decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters. Hazard Mitigation is sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards.
Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide
FEMA's new Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide (released October 1, 2011) contains several significant changes from the current local mitigation planning guidance:
- Stronger emphasis on the Mitigation Strategy and Implementation;
- Simplified to describe only the regulatory requirements;
- New Guiding Principles and Intent statements support regulatory requirements; and
- New Plan Review Tool to replace the existing Crosswalk in a simplified format and communicate implementation of the plan as well as improvements to the plan.
Implementation will be phased over the course of a year and the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide will become effective on October 1, 2012 to allow stakeholders at the State and local level to prepare for the change.
The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook is the official guide for local governments to develop, update and implement local mitigation plans. While the requirements under §201.6 have not changed, the Handbook provides guidance to local governments on developing or updating hazard mitigation plans to meet the requirements under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 44 – Emergency Management and Assistance §201.6, Local Mitigation Plans for FEMA approval and eligibility to apply for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.
It also offers practical approaches, tools, worksheets and local mitigation planning examples for how communities can engage in effective planning to reduce long-term risk from natural hazards and disasters. The Handbook complements and liberally references the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide , which is the official guidance for Federal and State officials responsible for reviewing local mitigation plans in a fair and consistent manner.
Take a look at these videos from FEMA about Hazard Mitigation Planning:
FEMA's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance is the official guidance for State, local, and Tribal governments to meet the requirements of the Mitigation Planning regulations under the Stafford Act and 44 CFR Part 201.
FEMA Mitigation Planning "How-To" Guides
These guides explain specific planning topics in and provide adaptable tools to meet or exceed FEMA's requirements.
- Getting Started: Building Support For Mitigation Planning (FEMA 386-1)
- Understanding Your Risks: Identifying Hazards And Estimating Losses (FEMA 386-2)
- Developing The Mitigation Plan: Identifying Mitigation Actions And Implementing Strategies (FEMA 386-3)
- Bringing the Plan to Life: Implementing the Hazard Mitigation Plan (FEMA 386-4)
- Using Benefit-Cost Review in Mitigation Planning (FEMA 386-5)
- Integrating Historic Property and Cultural Resource Considerations into Hazard Mitigation Planning (FEMA 386-6)
- Integrating Manmade Hazards Into Mitigation Planning (FEMA 386-7)
- Multi-Jurisdictional Mitigation Planning (FEMA 386-8)
- Using the Hazard Mitigation Plan to Prepare Successful Mitigation Projects (FEMA 386-9)
A Sample Scope of Work for Mitigation Planning Grants may be downloaded from the FEMA Library.
Individuals interested in learning more about the hazard mitigation planning process and how to write and maintain their own plan can take FEMA’s online training course IS318. This course is free of charge and offered by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. IS-318, Mitigation Planning for Local and Tribal Communities
Please visit the Hazard Mitigation Grants page for more information on the specific plan requirements for the various mitigation grant programs, as well as FEMA funds available for mitigation plan development and mitigation projects.
Sustainability in Mitigation Planning
- Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials provides practical guidance on how to incorporate risk reduction strategies into existing local plans, policies, codes, and programs that guide community development or redevelopment patterns
- Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability (FEMA 364)
- Rebuilding for a More Sustainable Future: An Operational Framework (FEMA 365)
As communities work to complete new plans or updates, the plans are submitted to MEMA and FEMA Region 1 for review and approval. For more information on the submission process or to see if your community has an approved plan, please contact Marybeth Groff, State Hazard Mitigation Planner at Marybeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-820-1435.