FEMA now requires local communities to develop Local Hazard Mitigation Plans before they can receive federal pre-disaster grants to fund precautionary actions before a disaster strikes. The plans are meant to encourage day-to-day decision-making about land use, site design, and other functions that could mitigate or lessen the impact of a future disaster (view and download FEMA fact sheet and related California senate bill 1241). 

Mitigation planning includes the following elements: 

  • Public Involvement – Emergency managers, government agencies, businesses, civic groups, environmental groups, and schools. 
  • Risk Assessment – Estimation of the frequency and magnitude of natural and man-made disasters, and assess potential losses to life and property. 
  • Mitigation Strategy – Activities to be implemented that are effective, technically feasible, cost-effective, and environmentally sound.