A hazard mitigation plan is a tool to identify specific actions to reduce the risk to a community for various disasters. These plans tend to evaluate the risk to people and property.
Each hazard mitigation plan is place-specific, although it can span jurisdictional boundaries. Counties, municipalities, tribes, and other public authorities (such as a regional council of governments) can develop plans as individual jurisdictions or collaborate to develop a plan spanning multiple jurisdictions.
Hazard mitigation plans generally include the following components:
- Assessment of community risks and assets
- Strategies and action plans for reducing risks
- How the plan was created and will be maintained
Hazard mitigation plans are a vital component of understanding risk and building momentum to reduce risk in a community. Hazard mitigation plans can track a community’s progress over time if updated and adopted regularly. Some federal pre-disaster and post-disaster grant programs require local jurisdictions to adopt hazard mitigation plans that must be updated once every five years.
Successful implementation of a hazard mitigation plan depends on good data and the quality of collaboration in the plan’s creation. Who participates, how they are able to participate and at what stage in the planning process are all recorded in the plan.
As it relates to wildfire, the local hazard mitigation plan is an opportunity to align and prioritize risk-reduction strategies, strengthen partnerships, and build consensus for long-term wildfire risk reduction. When aligned with capital improvement plans, comprehensive plans, and other community plans, the hazard mitigation plan can transform a community’s resilience to wildfire.
Adams County, Colorado – As part of the maintenance strategy for theAdams County Hazard Mitigation Plan, the planning department issues quarterly updates on mitigation strategies and action items. In addition to being multi-jurisdictional, the plan prioritizes multi-hazard mitigation strategies. The interdependency of the participating communities is discussed throughout the document. Development of a community wildfire protection plan (CWPP) is identified as an action item for a smaller municipality, both to address the individual jurisdiction risk and the regional risk of wildfire.