Integration of Hazard Mitigation Planning into Local Government Comprehensive Plans
In 1998 the Florida Division of Emergency Management created the Local Mitigation Strategy Initiative and funded local governments that chose to develop plans to mitigate hazards. Two years later, Congress enacted the Disaster Mitigation Act (amended the The Stafford Act) which mandates that all local governments in the United States prepare local hazard mitigation plans to reduce vulnerability and risk associated with future growth and development. These strategies must be approved by both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state.
In order to provide incentives for local governments to integrate hazard mitigation principles from their Local Mitigation Strategies into the local comprehensive plan in 2005, the department provided assistance in evaluating the risks and vulnerabilities facing communities and facilitated discussions between local government planning officials and emergency management planners regarding mitigation priorities. The intent was to focus on the use of comprehensive planning and land use strategies to reduce future damage to property and public facilities, avoid development in hazardous areas and provide for adequate public shelters and reduced hurricane clearance times.
The department, along with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, worked with planning and emergency management officials to understand how Florida's communities are implementing hazard mitigation principles, and whether these principles in each Local Mitigation Strategy, Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan, and Long-Term Recovery Plan have been incorporated into the comprehensive plan. Evaluation and Appraisal Review questions were prepared to help with this task, pursuant to existing legislative requirements and best practices, such as the guide, Protecting Florida Communities: Land Use Planning Strategies and Best Development Practices for Minimizing Vulnerability to Flooding and Coastal Storms. This and other hazard mitigation best practices guides may be viewed below.
County and select municipality profiles and existing and future land use maps are available that identify the predominant hazards in these communities, the hazard mitigation principles that are in place, and recommend additional hazard mitigation principles that could be incorporated into the comprehensive plans to reduce hazard vulnerability and risk. These profiles also contain suggestions on how the current local mitigation strategies could be enhanced to support long-range planning efforts through additional data or information.
Hazard Mitigation Best Practices Guidebooks
Community Hazard Mitigation Profiles