HAZARD MITIGATION PLANNING

 

Hazard Mitigation 

 

Disaster mitigation is any action or measure that either prevents that occurrence of a disaster or reduces the severity of its effects. Hazard mitigation planning is a collaborative process whereby hazards affecting the community are identified, vulnerability to the hazards are assessed, and consensus reached on how to minimize or eliminate the effects of these hazards.



Natural hazards, such as floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, are a part of the world around us. Their occurrence is natural and inevitable, and there is little we can do to control their force and intensity. However, through hazard mitigation planning, we can control what comes afterward. By minimizing the impact of natural hazards upon our built environment, we can prevent such events from resulting in disasters.

 

Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000

 

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) was created to facilitate cooperation between state and local authorities. Section 322 of the Act specifically addresses: mitigation planning at the state and local levels; reinforces the importance of pre-disaster mitigation planning; and promotes sustainability as a strategy for disaster resistance.



DMA 2000 requires that individual communities have an approved local hazard mitigation plan in place in order to be eligible for project grants under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for disasters declared after November 1, 2004 and other grant programs such as the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM).

 

DMA 2000 compliant predisaster mitigation plans are typically focused on: physical projects that reduce risk from natural hazards; changes in land development regulations such as zoning and building codes; public education programs; and addressing information and data deficiencies needed to develop the plans.



County governments have certain responsibilities for implementing Section 322, including: evaluating and reviewing the Plan after a disaster; completing a mandated five-year update submitted to both State & Federal Emergency Management Agencies for review and approval. Local governments have certain responsibilities for implementing Section 322, including: preparing and submitting a local plan; monitoring projects; and reviewing and updating the mitigation plan every five years.

Mitigation Strategies & Activities

 

Prevention - Intended to keep hazard problems from getting worse. They are particularly effective in reducing a community’s future vulnerability, especially in areas where development has not occurred or capital improvements have not been substantial. Examples of preventative activities include:

 

  • Open space preservation

  • Storm water management

  • Drainage system maintenance

  • Shoreline / riverine setbacks

  • Capital Improvement Plans/critical facility placement

  • Special assessment districts

  • Planning and zoning

  • Floodplain regulations



Property Protection - Measures that protect new or existing structures by modifying the building to withstand hazardous events, or removing structures from hazardous locations. Examples include:

 

  • Acquisition

  • Relocation

  • Building elevation

  • Critical facilities protection

  • Building codes (enforcement)

  • Safe rooms

  • Basement backflow prevention

  • Retrofitting (i.e., windproofing, floodproofing, seismic design standards, etc.)

  • Wind shutters



Natural Resource Protection - Activities that reduce the impact of natural hazards by preserving or restoring natural areas and their mitigation functions. Such areas include floodplains, wetlands, and dunes. Parks, recreation, or conservation agencies, and organizations often implement these measures. Examples include:

 

  • Floodplain protection

  • Riparian buffers

  • Vegetative planting and treatment / slope stabilization / fire-resistant landscaping

  • Fuel breaks

  • Wetland preservation and restoration



Structural Projects - Intended to lessen the impact of a hazard by modifying the environmental natural progression of the hazard event. They are usually designed by engineers and managed or maintained by public works staff. Examples include:

 

  • Channel modification

  • Levees/dikes/floodwalls

  • Diversions/detention/retention

  • Reservoirs

  • Utility protection/upgrades

  • Wind retrofitting/windproofing



Emergency Services - Emergency service measures minimize the impact of a hazard event on people and property. These commonly are actions taken immediately prior to, during, or in response to a hazard event. Examples include:

 

  • Warning systems

  • Evacuation planning and management

  • Sandbagging for flood protection



Public Information and Awareness - Used to advise residents, business owners, potential property buyers, and visitors about hazards, hazardous areas, and mitigation techniques they can use to protect themselves and their property. Examples of measures to educate and inform the public include:

 

  • Speaker series / demonstration events

  • Hazard map information

  • Real estate disclosure

  • Library materials

  • School children education

  • Hazard expositions

  • Websites

Harry S Truman Coordinating Council

800 East Pennell

Carl Junction, MO 64834

T: (417) 649-6400

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