Task 4 describes how an assessment of existing plans, policies, studies, and programs can be completed to further inform the mitigation actions that will be identified through the planning process. Local capability for mitigation can vary significantly from community to community. In the development of multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans, local governments with limited capacity or capability may use the planning process as a means to develop cooperative agreements, mutual aid agreements, or service agreements that enhance their capacity to undertake mitigation activities.

As part of the risk assessment in Task 5, the planning team evaluates how existing capabilities contribute to vulnerability by reducing or exacerbating disaster impacts. Understanding what capabilities need to be changed or enhanced to reduce disaster losses allows the planning team to address those shortfalls in the mitigation strategy.