Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is most effective when implemented under a comprehensive, long-term mitigation plan. State and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters, and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.
Developing hazard mitigation plans enables state and local governments to:
- Increase education and awareness around threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities;
- Build partnerships for risk reduction involving government, organizations, businesses, and the public;
- Identify long-term, broadly-supported strategies for risk reduction;
- Align risk reduction with other state, tribal, or community objectives;
- Identify implementation approaches that focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities; and
- Communicate priorities to potential sources of funding.
Moreover, a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. Ultimately, hazard mitigation planning enables action to reduce loss of life and property, lessening the impact of disasters.