Local Hazard Mitigation Planning

Hazard Mitigation plans form the basis for a community's long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses. Hazard Mitigation breaks the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Policy Updates (2022)

On April 19, 2022, FEMA updated the State and Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guides (policies). The policies are the official interpretation of the mitigation planning requirements in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), as amended and other federal statutes as well as in federal regulations, specifically Title 44 CFR Part 201- Mitigation Planning. The policies become effective for all mitigation plan approvals starting on April 19, 2023. These updates advance FEMA’s shared goals and objectives. They are also a crucial step in implementing the FEMA Strategic Plan Objective 2.3 - Empower Risk-Informed Decision Making.

Additional Resources for

Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide and Handbook

FEMA's Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Review Guide (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 FEMA updated policies noted in the prior section above (released April 19, 2022) become effective for all mitigation plan approvals starting on April 19, 2023.

The Local Mitigation Planning Handbook (March 2013) is a guide for local governments to develop, update and put in place local mitigation plans. This handbook offers practical approaches, tools, worksheets and planning examples on how communities can develop their local mitigation plan. It is intended as a complement to the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide.

FEMA's General Hazard Mitigation Planning page can be found here.

Guide to Virtual Hazard Mitigation Planning Meetings

The Guide to Virtual Hazard Mitigation Planning Meetings document details tips, resources, and potential platforms to facilitate and host effective virtual hazard mitigation planning meetings.

Local Plans in Massachusetts

Plans are submitted to MEMA and FEMA Region 1 for review and approval. For more information, please contact MEMA's Mitigation Unit, at Mitigation@mass.gov.

How To Submit A Hazard Mitigation Plan To MEMA Updated July 2020

To view a copy of your community’s local hazard mitigation plan, check your community’s official website or contact your local Emergency Management Director.

Individuals interested in learning more about the hazard mitigation planning process can take FEMA’s online free training course IS-318.

MEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Kickoff Meeting February 2, 2021

Watch the February 2, 2021 MEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Process Kickoff Meeting on MEMA’s YouTube Channel

Additional Resources for

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.

The guide 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

Green Infrastructure and Hazard Mitigation Guide

EPA has released Storm Smart Cities, Integrating Green Infrastructure into Local Hazard Mitigation Plans, a guide that examines how communities can incorporate green infrastructure into local hazard planning efforts. The guide is a case study of efforts in Huntington, West Virginia, highlighting a local, state, and federal partnership and the collaborative effort to address local flooding and protect water quality.

FEMA HM Planning Resources

Sustainability in Mitigation Planning

FEMA Region 1 Good Practice Guides

This FEMA Region 1 Demonstrating Good Practices Within Local Hazard Mitigation Plans reference describes ideas 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:

Additional Resources for

Massachusetts Integrated State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan

The State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan (SHMCAP) for the Commonwealth was adopted on September 17, 2018, in fulfillment of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 on climate changeThis plan, the first of its kind to comprehensively integrate climate change impacts and adaptation strategies with hazard mitigation planning, also complies with current federal requirements for state hazard mitigation plans and maintains the Commonwealth’s eligibility for federal disaster recovery and hazard mitigation funding under the Stafford Act. The plan received FEMA approval and is effective 9/19/2018 through 9/18/2023. The plan can be viewed at https://resilientma.org/ .