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Hazard Mitigation Planning

Planning has always played an important role in making communities safer places to live. Local zoning and subdivision plans, comprehensive plans, building codes, and floodplain ordinances are all familiar community efforts aimed at that common goal.

Hazard mitigation planning is an extension of that effort that aims at identifying hazards and risks in our communities and developing ways and means of reducing potentially disastrous losses of life and property.

Hazard mitigation planning is now more important than ever for communities interested in getting federal funds for mitigation projects. Every mitigation grant program sponsored by FEMA now requires applicants to have a federally-approved hazard mitigation plan (HMP) to be eligible for project funding.

That means that even if your community is included in a federally-declared disaster, you won't be eligible for a buyout program (for example) unless you already have a FEMA-approved HMP.

Pennsylvania's All-Hazard Mitigation Planning Standard Operating Guide

The state's All-Hazard Mitigation Planning Standard Operating Guide (SOG) documents are standard operating procedures for hazard mitigation planning in Pennsylvania by capturing FEMA requirements, clarifying and combining existing guidance (particularly FEMA 386), and allowing communities a greater opportunity to excel in the preparation of hazard mitigation plans.

The step-by-step "how-to" guidance provided in the SOG makes the hazard mitigation development process more manageable while creating consistency among local hazard mitigation plans.

Key standards developed for and included in the SOG are:

  • Model Plan Outline (MPO)
  • Risk Factor Methodology
  • Standard List of Hazards
  • Mitigation Action Evaluation Methodology (PA STEEL)

The guidance provided in the SOG allows PEMA to conduct a more thorough and detailed plan review in less time.