Plan maintenance is the process the planning team establishes to track the plan’s implementation progress and to inform the plan update. The plan must include a description of the method and schedule for monitoring, evaluating, and updating it within a 5-year cycle. These procedures help to:
- Ensure that the mitigation strategy is implemented according to the plan.
- Provide the foundation for an ongoing mitigation program in your community.
- Standardize long-term monitoring of hazard-related activities.
- Integrate mitigation principles into community officials’ daily job responsibilities and department roles.
- Maintain momentum through continued engagement and accountability in the plan’s progress.
Plan updates provide the opportunity to consider how well the procedures established in the previously approved plan worked and revise them as needed.
Plan monitoring means tracking the implementation of the plan over time. The plan must identify how, when, and by whom the plan will be monitored. For example, the plan may describe a monitoring system for tracking the status of the identified mitigation actions and reporting this information on a quarterly basis. The responsible agency assigned to each mitigation action may be responsible for tracking and reporting on each of their actions. See Worksheet 7.1 for an example worksheet for reporting progress on a mitigation action.
The planning team must identify the lead position or agency, usually the same individual or agency leading the plan’s development, for coordinating the monitoring process. A method and schedule for regular monitoring can include reports or other deliverables and expectations for meeting attendance. Monitoring, therefore, becomes part of the regular administrative function of the offices or positions to which it is assigned.
Evaluating means assessing the effectiveness of the plan at achieving its stated purpose and goals. The planning team must identify how, when, and by whom the plan will be evaluated. The planning team may develop a list of metrics to evaluate progress toward goals on an annual basis. For instance, if a goal is to improve public awareness of hazards and risk, then repeat a survey conducted during the planning process on an annual or 5-year basis to gauge how perception of risk is changing. If a goal is to reduce the number of structures in hazard prone areas, evaluate how these numbers change over time. The planning team could also evaluate the percentage of actions implemented.
Plan evaluation may not occur as frequently as plan monitoring, but it is an important step to ensure that the plan continues to serve a purpose. Many communities commit to, at a minimum, annually reconvening the planning team to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness and to prepare a report for their governing bodies that demonstrates progress to date. This information also serves as the basis of the next plan update.
The planning team or, if applicable, a subset of the planning team assigned to evaluate the plan, may develop a schedule for both regular meetings and specific deliverables. To maximize funding opportunities, schedule the meetings to coincide with an existing process or procedure, such as the community budget cycle or FEMA’s annual grant cycle. If reports or other deliverables are necessary, determine their frequency and reporting requirements.
The plan maintenance process shall include a section describing the method and schedule of monitoring, evaluating, evaluating, and updating the mitigation plan within a five-year cycle.
44 CFR §201.6(c)(4)(i)
Develop Procedures For:
- Monitoring. Tracking the implementation of the plan over time.
- Evaluating. Assessing the effectiveness of the plan at achieving its stated purpose and goals.
- Updating. Reviewing and revising the plan at least once every 5 years.