State and FEMA Plan Review

plan approvalSubmitting the Plan

Once the planning team is confident the plan meets the required elements and includes all supporting documentation, forward the plan to your SHMO or State Hazard Mitigation Planner. It is critical that all supporting documentation related to the planning process and other components of the plan are included in the initial submittal. Incomplete plan submittals can delay plan approval. The state will review the plan and work with you on any required revisions for approval. Don’t forget to provide your local contact information where you can be reached for any questions.

Once the state is satisfied that the plan meets the requirements, the SHMO will forward the plan to the FEMA Regional Office for review and approval. FEMA will conduct its review within 45 days, if possible, and provide a completed Local Mitigation Plan Review Tool to the state. The FEMA Regional Office and the state may contact you to discuss additional revisions to the plan to ensure that it meets the federal regulations. Once FEMA determines the plan meets the regulations, the agency will notify the SHMO that the plan is approvable pending adoption (APA), or approved if the community has already adopted the mitigation plan.

Approvable Pending Adoption

To avoid repeated attempts to adopt the plan prior to FEMA approval, many communities obtain a notice from FEMA that the plan is APA before adopting the plan. As a time-saving measure, communities are encouraged to submit the final draft of the mitigation plan to the State and FEMA for review prior to formal adoption by the elected officials or other authorized governing body. If FEMA determines the plan is not approvable and requires revisions, the community will be able to make revisions before initiating the plan adoption process, therefore avoiding unnecessary delays in plan approval.

Plan Approval

Upon receiving the record of adoption from the State, FEMA will issue an official approval letter stating which jurisdictions have adopted and are approved and eligible for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs. The approval letter will include the expiration date 5 years from the date of the letter. Attached to the approval letter will be a final Local Mitigation Plan Review Tool that provides feedback on the strengths of the plan, recommendations for plan improvements during future plan updates, and suggestions for implementing the mitigation strategy.