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Mitigation

State Hazard Mitigation Plan

What is Mitigation?

Mitigation involves long-term actions taken to protect lives and reduce the impact of disasters on the built environment (i.e., roads, bridges, buildings). At a minimum, mitigation measures must be technically feasible, cost-effective and environmentally sound.

Current federal legislation (DMA and corresponding regulation - 44 CFR Part 201) requires that an entity have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan in place in order to be eligible for most mitigation project funding.

FEMA mitigation payments that benefit property owners through the mitigation of their structure are not subject to federal income taxation.

NYSOEM staff is also available to answer questions regarding mitigation planning grant opportunities.

 

Hazard Mitigation Planning

Overview

Losses from disasters need not be excessive in all cases. The implementation of disaster loss reduction, or hazard mitigation measures, is essential to ensuring that losses from disasters are eliminated or curtailed.

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 200 places new emphasis on State and local mitigation planning. The Act created Section 322 and implementing Regulations, 44 CFR Part 201 - "Mitigation Planning." In addressing the requirements for State and local All-Hazard Mitigation Plans, both the law and the regulations indicate that local governments must possess a FEMA-approved Mitigation Plan in order to be eligible for project funding. The effective date of the plan requirement was November 1, 2004.

New York State Executive Law, Article 2-B, Sections 23 and 28-a also provide for State and local hazard mitigation planning.

In summary, State and local Hazard Mitigation Plans satisfy both State and federal requirements.

State Hazard Mitigation Planning

The 2014 New York State Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) was approved by FEMA and adopted by the Disaster Preparedness Commission on December 18, 2013. The Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan qualifies the State for federal Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA), which includes the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program, and the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program. Together, these programs provide significant opportunities to reduce or eliminate potential losses to state and local governments in New York State through hazard mitigation planning and project grant funding.

The 2014 SHMP also keeps New York State eligible for mitigation opportunities through the Public Assistance (PA) program.  Through the PA program, FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster assistance for debris removal, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, state owned facilities and the facilities of certain private non-profit organizations.  All told, New York State's update and adoption of its Hazard Mitigation Plan without lapse keeps literally billions of dollars in Federal disaster assistance flowing into the Empire State to repair damages from past (and future) disasters, including most recently Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and Superstorm Sandy.

Local Hazard Mitigation Planning

As of November 1, 2004, all local governments are required to have a FEMA-approved all-hazard mitigation plan in order to receive project funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM) and the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA) continue to require communities to have a FEMA-approved multi-hazard mitigation plan prior to requesting project implementation funds. A mitigation plan prepared under the all-hazard mitigation guidelines outlines in 44 CFR Part 201.6 should satisfy the planning requirements of the HMGP, PDM and FMA. The plan could also satisfy the mitigation planning requirements of other programs, e.g., the Community Rating System (CRS) planning requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The CRS provides for a reduction in NFIP premiums when participating communities implement actions beyond the minimum requirements of the NFIP.

A community's multi-hazard mitigation plan indicates that the community has identified the hazards to which it is exposed, assessed the attendant risks and vulnerabilities, prepared a mitigation strategy to reduce to eliminate those risks and vulnerabilities, and has developed an action plan that will ensure the implementation of the mitigation strategy. Public input and participation by all relevant stakeholders in the planning process is required.

As outlined in the all-hazard mitigation guidelines in 44 CFR Part 201.6, local mitigation plans can be prepared either by a single jurisdiction (e.g., a village, town or city) or by multiple jurisdictions working together.  State OEM strongly recommends multi-jurisdictional plans as they produce better results in a much more cost-effective manner.  Local all-hazard mitigation plans become active once they are approved by FEMA and adopted by one of the participating jurisdictions.  Local plans must be reviewed, updated and resubmitted for approval every five years.

State OEM has developed additional hazard mitigation planning standards (see link below) to augment those required by FEMA.  These include a better analysis of potential projects and remedies, the identification of local, state and federal funding sources, and other measures to protect lives and property.  While some of these items (like identifying locations for temporary and permanent post-disaster housing, and beefing up evacuation routes and sheltering procedures) may not meet the traditional definition of Mitigation, we encourage communities to consider them while stakeholders are convened to analyze their damage history and community needs.

Please Note:  After October 15, 2012, these will be "required actions" for any hazard mitigation plan developed with funds administered by State OEM and will be part of all contracts executed with grant recipients.  All grantees are encouraged to include this information in their "Request for Proposals" and to provide it to their consultants before planning begins in earnest.

Hazard Mitigation Planning Tools

Documents

Hazard Maps

Links to FEMA Program Guidance

Hazard Mitigation Projects

Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Program

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) was created by Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Act to assist states and communities in implementing long-term hazard mitigation measures following a major disaster declaration. The HMGP grant cycles are tied to Presidential Declarations - they are not run annually - and their objective is to prevent future losses of lives and property due to disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a federally declared disaster.

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA), Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) and Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) Programs followed. These four annually funded programs were combined in 2008 under the Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Program. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 directed the consolidation of flood mitigation programs. While this directive resulted in the elimination the RFC and SRL programs it also significantly enhances the FMA program. The FMA program now includes additional funding for mitigation of SRL and repetitive loss properties as well as mitigation reconstruction as an eligible activity.

Links to the July 12, 2013 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance (FY 2013) and Addendum to the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance are provided to help you determine which programs are best suited to your project and circumstances. Those documents apply to all, PDM, FMA programs, and HMGP grant cycles associated with disasters declared on or after July 12, 2013.

(The link to FEMA's June 1, 2010 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance (FY 2011) remains as this guidance still applies to all, PDM, FMA, RFC, and SRL programs, and HMGP grant cycles associated with disasters declared prior to July 12, 2013.)

Printable Brochures and Guidance

Links to FEMA Program Guidance

Project Tools