Hazard Mitigation Plan
Disasters can devastate a community’s economic, social and environmental well-being. Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the potential impact of future disasters.
Mitigation planning is a key process to break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction and repeated damage. It allows local leaders to take action now, before a disaster, to reduce impacts when a disaster occurs. Using local knowledge and expertise to plan today allows localities to plan, design and build their community and builds partnerships for risk reduction throughout the community.
Having a hazard mitigation plan will:
- Increase awareness of hazards, risks and vulnerabilities
- Identify actions for risk reduction
- Focus resources on the greatest risks
- Communicate priorities to state and federal officials
- Increase overall awareness of hazards and risks
The plan examines natural hazards such as flooding, hurricanes, thunderstorms, earthquakes and winter storms and identifies measures localities can take to reduce the impact of these potential threats.
Approval of the hazard mitigation plan by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local adoption of the plan is required by FEMA to be eligible for federal disaster relief funds. The plan must be updated every five years.
The 26 localities of the Richmond and Crater regions work together to update the Richmond-Crater Multi-Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan to identify vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate long-term risks. While nothing can be done to prevent natural hazard events from occurring, the region is poised to minimize the disruption and devastation that so often accompanies disasters, increasing the region’s resiliency.
Hazard Mitigation Planning Process
The mitigation planning process itself is as important as the resulting plan because it encourages communities to integrate mitigation into day-to-day decision-making regarding land use planning, floodplain management, site design and other functions.
Effective mitigation planning includes efforts to solicit and consider input from diverse interests and promote discussion about creating a safer, more disaster-resilient community. Involving emergency management experts and local stakeholders is essential to building community-wide support for the plan.
Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
The Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) lays out the region’s vulnerability to natural hazards so that mitigation strategies, activities and projects can be developed to minimize hazard risks. It includes the identification of natural hazards and risks that are likely to impact the region based on historical experience, an estimate of the frequency and magnitude of potential disasters, and an assessment of potential loss to life and property.
A capability assessment evaluates the current capacity of the communities of the Region to mitigate the effects of the natural hazards identified in the HIRA. By providing a summary of each jurisdiction’s existing capabilities, the capability assessment serves as the foundation for designing an effective hazard mitigation strategy.
The mitigation strategy portion of the plan consists of goals and actions. The goals align closely with those of the 26 localities (counties, cities and towns) involved in the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The actions are designed to address the most pressing mitigation needs based on the history of natural disasters, local capacity and availability of resources.