Task 6 Requirements

Element C3

The hazard mitigation strategy shall include a description of mitigation goals to reduce or avoid long-term vulnerabilities to the identified hazards.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(3)(i)

Element C4

The hazard mitigation strategy shall include a section that identifies and analyzes a comprehensive range of specific mitigation actions and projects being considered to reduce the effects of each hazard, with particular emphasis on new and existing buildings and infrastructure.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(3)(ii)

Element C5

The hazard mitigation strategy shall include an action plan, describing how the actions identified will be prioritized, implemented, and administered by each local jurisdiction. Prioritization shall include a special emphasis on the extent to which benefits are maximized according to a cost benefit review of the proposed projects and their associated costs.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(3)(iii)

For multi-jurisdictional plans, there must be identifiable action items specific to the jurisdiction requesting FEMA approval or credit of the plan.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(3)(iv)

Element C6

The plan shall include a process by which local governments incorporate the requirements of the mitigation plan into other planning mechanisms such as comprehensive or capital improvements, when appropriate.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(4)(ii)

Element D2

A local jurisdiction must review and revise its plan to reflect progress in local mitigation efforts.

44 CFR §201.6(d)(3)

Element D3

A local jurisdiction must review and revise its plan to reflect changes in priorities.

44 CFR §201.6(d)(3)

The heart of the mitigation plan is the mitigation strategy, which serves as the long-term blueprint for reducing the potential losses identified in the risk assessment. The mitigation strategy describes how the community will accomplish the overall purpose, or mission, of the planning process. Task 6 provides suggestions for developing a new or updating an existing mitigation strategy.

FEMA requires that the mitigation strategy of a hazard mitigation plan responds to the particular hazards facing the community, as identified in the risk assessment (Task 5).  The mix of potential mitigation actions should reflect the values and priorities of the community, as expressed in the public participation process (Task 3).  These actions should address not only current threats, but future threats as well, such as the risk due to climate change or additional development in natural hazard areas.  Finally, the community’s capability assessment can help the community prioritize actions, based on its fiscal, political and technical capabilities. 

As hazard mitigation evolves into a more proactive practice, it is moving away from an emphasis on physical measures or structures such as dams, levees and floodwalls to nonstructural approaches that include land use planning and management.  The idea is to steer new development away from hazard-prone areas and avoid putting people and structures in harm’s way.  Land use planning techniques can include zoning and subdivision ordinances that limit development in hazardous areas as well as acquisition or relocation of structures, such as repetitively-flooded homes.  Unfortunately, communities tend to adopt land use measures to control future land use after most hazard-prone areas have already been developed—a phenomena known as the land use management paradox.

Our evaluation of 175 local mitigation plans found that most jurisdictions did not integrate land use controls and development management tools into their mitigation strategies. The mitigation strategies tended to consist of a narrow range of prevention, and natural resource protection actions and little in the way of structural control, emergency services and public information.

Best practices include: