Documentation of Community Capabilities

The hazard mitigation plan must document what existing plans, studies, reports, and technical information were reviewed and how relevant information was incorporated. To document means to provide the factual evidence for how the plan was developed. Documentation can be met with a narrative description, but may also be shown in other formats. For example, a table or list format may provide the relevant sources and explain how information was incorporated, or citations or footnotes throughout the document may demonstrate incorporation of other plans.

Best Practices

Houston-Galveston Area Council, TX

Houston-Galveston Area Council’s plan was identified as a best practice because it provided extensive information on existing plans and policies, where the information came from and how the capability assessment would inform the mitigation strategy and the remainder of the plan.

“The conclusions of the Capability Assessment and Risk Assessment serve as the foundation for a meaningful hazard mitigation strategy. During the process of identifying the goals and mitigation actions, each jurisdiction must consider not only their level of hazard risk but also their existing capability to minimize or eliminate that risk.  

In jurisdictions where the overall hazard risk is considered to be HIGH, and local capability is considered LIMITED, then specific mitigation actions that account for these conditions should be considered. This may include less costly actions such as minor ordinance revisions or public awareness activities. If necessary, specific capabilities may need to be improved in order to better address recurring threats. Similarly, in cases where the hazard vulnerability is LOW and overall capability is HIGH, more emphasis can be placed on actions that may impact future vulnerability such as guiding development away from known hazard areas.”

Element A4

The planning process shall include the review and incorporation, if appropriate, of existing plans, studies, reports, and technical information.

44 CFR §201.6(b)(3)

For multi-jurisdictional plans, the capabilities of each participating jurisdiction must be individually reviewed and documented. In a plan update, the planning team ensures capabilities are documented sufficiently and highlights any capability changes from the previous plan.