Why Have a Plan?

What is a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan?

The hazard mitigation plan is an official statement of a jurisdiction’s hazards, vulnerability analysis, and mitigation strategy.  It is the result of a collaborative multi-agency and citizen planning process. As a living document, it guides implementation activities to achieve the greatest reduction of vulnerability, which results in saved lives, reduced injuries, reduced property damage, and protection for the environment.

Why have a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan?

To ensure public consensus through a planning process on mitigation actions that best suit the community. It allows communities to focus efforts and limited resources on the most highly desirable mitigation projects.  Jurisdictions must have a State and federally approved plan to apply for and receive mitigation grants. These grants can augment local mitigation activities already underway and future planned activities too. Ultimately, these actions reduce vulnerability and communities are able to recover more quickly from disasters.


  • Provide the public opportunities throughout the plan development and drafting process to provide input, taking special care to make the plan and outcome relevant to the impacted community.
  • Update the risk assessment using the most recent disaster data and information.
  • Update hazard mitigation goals, objectives and actions as they relate to reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-made hazards.
  • Obtain state and federal approval of the updated plan.

Hazard Mitigation Breaks the Cycle

With inflation and the cost of materials on the rise, constant reconstruction can be a continued strain on already stressed jurisdictional budgets.  Hazard mitigation planning and related grant funding break the expensive cycle of damage and reconstruction by taking a long-term view of better community and land-use planning, of which citizen action is central and necessary.

What Are the Benefits?

  • Reduces the loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities and economic hardship.
  • Reduces short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs.
  • Increases cooperation and communication within the community through the planning process.
  • Increases potential for state and federal funding for pre-disaster and recovery projects within the City.

What Types of Mitigation Techniques Can Be Utilized?

Hazard mitigation actions are commonly broken into six different categories:

  • Prevention – Keep hazard risk from getting worse.
  • Property Protection – Modify existing development subject to hazard risk.
  • Public Education & Awareness – Inform people about potential hazards and mitigation actions.
  • Natural Resource Protection – Identify the benefits of the indigenous and natural functions of the area to take advantage of the protection it provides, reduce effects of hazards & improve the quality of the environment.
  • Emergency Services – Actions taken to ensure continuity of emergency services.
  • Structural Projects – Manmade structures or improvements to control hazards.

Common mitigation actions developed by communities include the following:

  • Retrofitting of structures & design of new construction, such as elevating or floodproofing a home or building.
  • Enforcement of building codes, floodplain management codes and environmental regulations.
  • Public safety measures such as continual maintenance of roadways, culverts and drainage ditches.
  • Acquisition of relocation of structures, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain.
  • Acquisition of hazard prone lands in their undeveloped state to ensure they remain so.
  • Protecting critical facilities and infrastructure from future hazard events.
  • Mitigation, disaster recovery and Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning.
  • Development and distribution of outreach materials related to hazard mitigation.
  • Deployment of warning systems.