Hazard 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 important as it creates a framework for risk-based decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.
Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide and Handbook
FEMA's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance (October 1, 2011) 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.
The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook is a guide for local governments to develop, update and implement local mitigation plans. It offers practical approaches, tools, worksheets and local mitigation planning examples for how communities can develop their local plan. It is intended as a complement to the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide.
Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities
This US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) guide encourages water and wastewater utilities to work with their local mitigation planners to implement priority projects using FEMA or other source funding. It provides an overview of the mitigation process, along with practical examples of mitigation projects to address the impacts of earthquakes, tornados, floods, drought, wildfires and power outages.
Download the US EPA Guide here: https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/hazard-mitigation-natural-disasters
Local Plans in Massachusetts
Plans are submitted to MEMA and FEMA Region 1 for review and approval. For more information submissions process or to see if your community has an approved plan, contact Marybeth Groff, state hazard mitigation planner at Marybeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-820-1435.
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 free training course IS-318.
FEMA Mitigation Planning "How-To" Guides
The FEMA Region 1 Mitigation Planning Webliography provides planning resources, hazard information, and data. Additional information is available in a video series from FEMA, and is split into two parts.
Those agencies and individuals looking to take part in hazard mitigation should view the mitigation planning guides, which are split into nine parts on FEMA’s website:
- 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)
FEMA also offers a sample scope of work for mitigation planning grants.
FEMA Mitigation Planning "Good Practice" Guides
This FEMA Region 1 Good Practice Guides file size 4MB reference describes and models practices which communities and planning staff can use in developing a federally approvable hazard mitigation plan. The twenty-one FEMA requirements are each addressed in separate guides (within this one document). One additional guide offers an optional Table of Contents as an aid for communities organizing their plans.
FEMA also offers the following mitigation planning documents/tools:
Sustainability in Mitigation Planning
- Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials provides guidance on incorporating risk reduction strategies into plans, policies, codes, and programs for development or redevelopment.
- Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability
- Rebuilding for a More Sustainable Future: An Operational Framework (FEMA 365)