Capability Assessment

Each community has a unique set of capabilities, including authorities, policies, programs, staff, funding, and other resources available to accomplish mitigation. By reviewing existing capabilities the planning team can identify capabilities that currently reduce disaster losses or could be used to reduce losses in the future, as well as capabilities that inadvertently increase risks in the community. This is especially useful for multi‐jurisdictional plans where local capability varies widely.

Element C1

The plan shall include a mitigation strategy that provides the jurisdiction’s blueprint for reducing the potential losses identified in the risk assessment, based on existing authorities, policies, programs, and resources, and its ability to expand on and improve these existing tools. 44 CFR §201.6(c)(3)

The planning team collects and reviews information on community capabilities. The plan must describe each jurisdiction’s existing authorities, policies, programs, and resources available to accomplish hazard mitigation. To review capabilities, begin by reviewing existing plans, reports, and information and interviewing local departments and agencies to gain a better understanding of relevant programs, regulations, resources, and practices. One approach is to distribute a capabilities worksheet (see Worksheet 4.1) for each  planning team member’s community or agency to complete.

Best Practices

Craven County, NC

Craven County was selected as a best practice because it provides very specific details about relevant ordinances and policies, in this case from the comprehensive recreation and park plan, that could mitigate risks in flood-prone areas.

craven policies

Houston-Galveston Area Council, TX

Houston-Galveston Area Council’s plan was selected as a best practice because it contains a table clearly showing the relevant programs and plans in place in each of the planning area’s jurisdictions.


Brunswick County, NC

Brunswick County was included as a best practice because it included a table of each relevant jurisdiction’s self assessment of their capability across several characteristics. An excerpt of the table is displayed below. The table was the result of a survey in which participating jurisdictions were asked to assess their capabilities. The plan also contains a description of how each jurisdiction scored its capability.


Best Practice

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD was identified as an exemplary plan because it clearly lays out its relationships to other plans. As seen in the excerpt below, the Hazard Mitigation Plan makes clear connections to the Climate Change Adaptation Plan by highlighting relevant sections with the use of the cloud symbol shown.

Baltimore, MD Best Practice