The planning area refers to the geographic area covered by the plan. Generally, the planning area follows local government jurisdictional boundaries, such as cities, townships, counties, or planning districts. However, planning areas also may be defined by watersheds or other natural features, particularly where hazards create similar risks across jurisdictional boundaries. A jurisdiction’s boundaries may also cross over or encompass other jurisdictions, such as a fire protection district or a utility district.
The State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO) or state emergency management agency can help communities determine the appropriate planning area. This determination may be based on state planning goals and planning grant funding priorities.