Plan Maintenance Procedures

Plan maintenance is the process the planning team establishes to track the plan’s implementation progress and to inform the plan update. The plan must include a description of the method and schedule for monitoring, evaluating, and updating it within a 5-year cycle. These procedures help to:

  • Ensure that the mitigation strategy is implemented according to the plan.
  • Provide the foundation for an ongoing mitigation program in your community.
  • Standardize long-term monitoring of hazard-related activities.
  • Integrate mitigation principles into community officials’ daily job responsibilities and department roles.
  • Maintain momentum through continued engagement and accountability in the plan’s progress.

Plan updates provide the opportunity to consider how well the procedures established in the previously approved plan worked and revise them as needed.

Monitoring Implementation

Element A6

The plan maintenance process shall include a section describing the method and schedule of monitoring, evaluating, evaluating, and updating the mitigation plan within a five-year cycle.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(4)(i)

Develop Procedures For:

  • Monitoring. Tracking the implementation of the plan over time.
  • Evaluating. Assessing the effectiveness of the plan at achieving its stated purpose and goals.
  • Updating. Reviewing and revising the plan at least once every 5 years.

Plan monitoring means tracking the implementation of the plan over time. The plan must identify how, when, and by whom the plan will be monitored. For example, the plan may describe a monitoring system for tracking the status of the identified mitigation actions and reporting this information on a quarterly basis. The responsible agency assigned to each mitigation action may be responsible for tracking and reporting on each of their actions. See Worksheet 7.1 for an example worksheet for reporting progress on a mitigation action.

The planning team must identify the lead position or agency, usually the same individual or agency leading the plan’s development, for coordinating the monitoring process. A method and schedule for regular monitoring can include reports or other deliverables and expectations for meeting attendance. Monitoring, therefore, becomes part of the regular administrative function of the offices or positions to which it is assigned.

Evaluating Effectiveness

Evaluating means assessing the effectiveness of the plan at achieving its stated purpose and goals. The planning team must identify how, when, and by whom the plan will be evaluated. The planning team may develop a list of metrics to evaluate progress toward goals on an annual basis. For instance, if a goal is to improve public awareness of hazards and risk, then repeat a survey conducted during the planning process on an annual or 5-year basis to gauge how perception of risk is changing. If a goal is to reduce the number of structures in hazard prone areas, evaluate how these numbers change over time. The planning team could also evaluate the percentage of actions implemented.

Plan evaluation may not occur as frequently as plan monitoring, but it is an important step to ensure that the plan continues to serve a purpose. Many communities commit to, at a minimum, annually reconvening the planning team to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness and to prepare a report for their governing bodies that demonstrates progress to date. This information also serves as the basis of the next plan update.

The planning team or, if applicable, a subset of the planning team assigned to evaluate the plan, may develop a schedule for both regular meetings and specific deliverables. To maximize funding opportunities, schedule the meetings to coincide with an existing process or procedure, such as the community budget cycle or FEMA’s annual grant cycle. If reports or other deliverables are necessary, determine their frequency and reporting requirements.

Best Practices

Brevard County, FL

Brevard County was chosen as a best practice because it uses a specialized software package to monitor the progress of its hazard mitigation plan. The excerpt below taken from the plan’s  Goals and Implementation section details how Brevard County uses the program.

“Brevard County uses the Mitigation 20/20™ software program to document the efforts to fund the initiative [action], to conduct required studies, and to obtain any needed permits, as well as to estimate the time remaining to complete design, needed studies and purchasing or construction. When an initiative [action] is completed, this fact is to be noted in the program as well.” 

Brevard County also clearly identifies the Office of Emergency Management as the unit responsible for evaluating the hazard mitigation plan on a bi-annual basis.

“The Office of Emergency Management has the responsibility for maintaining the master copy of the Mitigation 20/20 software, for scheduling and facilitating meetings of Brevard Prepares, and maintaining liaison with adjacent counties, the State of Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding the mitigation plan. In addition, frequently, the Office of Emergency Management is the contact point and coordinator for post-disaster funding opportunities for implementation of the proposed mitigation initiatives incorporated into the plan.”

Brevard County details the criteria it uses to evaluate the plan.


Coastal Bend Council of Governments, TX

The Coastal Bend Council of Governments Plan included the form used to evaluate each action after its completion or a specific time during its implementation. This is a best practice because the form requires the evaluator to quantify the time taken to complete and the cost of completion as compared with the benefit of project.


The plan also includes a form to evaluate each jurisdiction’s mitigation strategy over the previous 12 months. The form (excerpted below) consists of 16 questions addressing hazard-related losses, implementation of the strategy, changes in data available, hazard vulnerability or capabilities of the relevant jurisdiction.


Martin County, FL

Martin County is identified as a best practice because its plan includes benchmarks, indicators and targets for each goal to be evaluated on.


Updating the Plan

Updating means reviewing and revising the plan at least once every 5 years to reflect changes in development, progress in local mitigation efforts, and changes in priorities. The planning team must identify how, when, and by whom the plan will be updated. Documenting the procedures for updating the plan requires an explanation of who will be responsible for updating the plan and when and how this process will be initiated. The plan must include the title of the individual or name of the department or agency responsible for leading the updating effort. It may be appropriate to include a schedule of activities that allows sufficient time to obtain funding for and complete the planning process before the plan expires.

The planning team can also establish procedures for updating the plan following a disaster event or concurrent with the development of a recovery or post-disaster redevelopment plan. Your community’s vulnerabilities and mitigation priorities often change following a disaster, and additional funding sources may become available, such as FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program or Public Assistance. Generally, public awareness increases, and the demand and support for mitigation frequently increases following a disaster. You may choose to take advantage of opportunities to incorporate mitigation into recovery strategies and to rebuild wisely and safely to avoid similar losses in the future. This is also an important time to collect data on the hazard and its impacts for future plan updates. If you are considering developing a recovery plan prior to a disaster, coordinating the recovery and mitigation planning efforts promotes messages about building resilience.

Best Practices

Darke County, OH

Darke County was chosen as a best practice because it presents its monitoring, evaluation and update schedule in a clear table, shown below.


As seen in the excerpt below, Darke County details what the plan updates must include.



Roseville, CA

Roseville was selected as a best practice because it mandates that its plan be updated every 5 years or if one of the following events occurs:

  • A Presidential Disaster Declaration that impacts Roseville
  • A disaster that causes loss of life
  • An update of Roseville’s general plan

Roseville was also selected because it details what the plan update process in these events entails, as described in the excerpt below.