Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning

Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is hazard mitigation, and what is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?

Hazard mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce long-term risks to human life and property from natural hazards. A Hazard Mitigation Plan is prepared by local governments and special purpose districts in response to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390). These plans act as a keyway to federal funding afforded under the Robert T. Stafford Act. These plans meet statutory requirements that include:

  • Organizing resources
  • Assessing Risk
  • Engaging the public
  • Identifying Goals and Objectives
  • Identifying actions
  • Developing plan maintenance and implementation strategies
What is the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000?

The federal Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA) of 2000 (Public Law 106-390), commonly known as the 2000 Stafford Act amendments, was approved by Congress on October 10, 2000. This act required state and local governments to develop hazard mitigation plans as a condition for federal grant assistance. Among other things, this legislation reinforces the importance of pre-disaster infrastructure mitigation planning to reduce disaster losses nationwide. DMA 2000 is aimed primarily at the control and streamlining of the administration of federal disaster relief and programs to promote mitigation activities. Prior to 2000, federal legislation provided funding for disaster relief, recovery, and some hazard mitigation planning. The DMA improves upon the planning process by emphasizing the importance of communities planning for disasters before they occur.

Does the State of Washington have a State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan?

Yes. The State of Washington is also required to respond to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 by developing a plan. In fact, if the state does not have a plan, no local governments within the state are eligible for any of the grant programs normally available as a result of developing a HMP. By law, the local plans are to be consistent with the recommendations of the state plan. The State of Washington actually has an Enhanced Plan, which means that we receive increased funding amounts after a disaster.

What hazards will the mitigation plan address?

At a minimum, the plan must address the natural hazards of concern that could impact the County planning area. It may also include a select number of technological or human caused hazards. It should also be noted that there are many secondary hazards that are directly attributable to these primary hazards that will also be addressed by the plan as part of the analysis of the primary hazard of concern.

Will Global Warming/Climate Change be addressed in the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan?

Yes. While climate change will not be viewed as a stand alone hazard in this plan, there will be detailed discussions of the potential impact of climate change on those applicable hazards of concern.

How will my jurisdiction benefit by participating?

By participating in this planning effort and adopting the updated plan, your community will be eligible to pursue funding under any of the five (5) FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs. These programs provide millions of dollars worth of grant funding annually for risk reduction measures identified in these plans. Additionally, if your community participates in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) program, this plan may have direct impact on reducing the cost of flood insurance within your community.

Does it cost my jurisdiction anything to produce this plan?

Seventy five percent of the cost associated with the preparation of this plan is being provided by a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning grant. The remaining 25% of the cost is an “in-kind” contribution from the planning team and the planning partners this plan will cover. “In-kind” contribution means non-monetary contributions such as: staff time, facilities, printing cost, etc.

When will the plan be finished?

It is anticipated that this plan update process will take seven to nine (7-9) months to complete, at which time it will be submitted to Washington State Emergency Management Division and FEMA for their review and approval. This schedule is contingent upon many factors that can impact schedule and timeline. The timeline for submittal will be continuously updated throughout the process as planning milestones are completed.

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