What is Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from hazard events. It is an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after disasters and serves to break the cycle of damage and repair in hazardous areas. At a minimum, mitigation measures must be technically feasible, cost-effective and environmentally sound. Current research shows that for every $1 spent on mitigation, an average of $6 is saved.
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and corresponding regulation - 44 CFR Part 201, require that state, local, tribal and territorial governments have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan in place in order to be eligible for mitigation project funding.
Current Funding Opportunities
State Hazard Mitigation Planning
Hazard mitigation planning begins with state, tribal and local governments identifying natural disaster risks and vulnerabilities that are common in their area. After identifying these risks, they develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from similar events. Hazard Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction.
The State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) reduces risk to key state assets in the long term, and also provides local jurisdictions with critical information and guidance regarding the state’s risks, capabilities, priorities and action plans as they develop their own hazard mitigation plans.
In order for a State to be eligible to receive certain non-emergency disaster assistance, including FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs, Public Assistance funds (non-emergency permanent work), Fire Management Assistance Grants, and Rehabilitation of High-Hazard Potential Dam grants, a current FEMA approved SHMP is required. FEMA requires SHMPs to be updated every five (5) years. The NYS Hazard Mitigation Plan was last updated and approved by FEMA on December 17, 2018. This was the first SHMP in the nation to use a web-based platform. We are pleased to provide the link to our State Plan.
Local Hazard Mitigation Planning
While hazardous events cannot be prevented, Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs) have proven to be an effective tool to reduce losses and enhance community resilience. LHMPs are documents that aim to identify mitigation actions to be undertaken to increase community preparedness and resiliency, and decrease vulnerability in the event of a hazard. A FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is required for communities (subapplicants) interested in receiving FEMA’s grant funding for eligible mitigation projects.
As outlined in the all-hazard mitigation guidelines in 44 CFR Part 201.6, LHMPs can be prepared either by a single jurisdiction (e.g., a village, town or city) or by multiple jurisdictions working together. LHMPs only become active after they are approved by FEMA and adopted by the jurisdiction (for multi-jurisdictional plans, adoption by one participant activates the FEMA approved plan). Local plans must be reviewed, updated, and resubmitted for approval every five years. Funding opportunities to update multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans are available under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs.
For more information on FEMA's planning requirements for HMA grants visit https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/risk-management/hazard-mitigation-planning/requirements
Please Note: NYS DHSES has developed additional hazard mitigation planning standards (see Hazard Mitigation Planning Resources below) to augment those required by FEMA. After October 15, 2012, these will be "required actions" for any hazard mitigation plan developed with funds administered by NYS DHSES and will be part of all contracts executed with grant recipients. All grantees are strongly encouraged to include this information in their "Request for Proposals" and to provide it to their consultants before planning begins in earnest.