Updating the Mitigation Strategy

One of the most important steps in updating your plan is to refine the community’s mitigation strategy, particularly in light of experiences gained from the implementation of the previous plan. To continue to be an effective representation of the jurisdiction’s overall strategy for reducing risk to natural hazards, the updated local mitigation plan must reflect current conditions and progress in mitigation efforts. The 5-year plan update is an opportunity for each jurisdiction to assess its previous goals and actions, evaluate progress in implementing the action plan, and adjust its actions to address current realities. The mitigation strategy should also be revised following disasters to determine if the recommended actions are still appropriate given the impacts of the event.

Evaluate Progress in Implementation

Element D2

A local jurisdiction must review and revise its plan to reflect progress in local mitigation efforts.

44 CFR §201.6(d)(3)

Plan updates must reflect progress in local mitigation efforts. Whereas goals may not change significantly over a 5-year timeframe, the integration of the plan into existing planning mechanisms and the implementation of mitigation actions demonstrate progress in risk reduction.

Integration of Hazard Mitigation

The updated plan must explain how the jurisdiction(s) incorporated the previous mitigation plan, when appropriate, into other planning mechanisms over the last 5 years as a demonstration of progress in local mitigation efforts. The updated plan must continue to describe how the current mitigation strategy, including the goals and hazard mitigation actions, will be incorporated into other planning mechanisms over the next 5 years.

Completion of Mitigation Actions

The plan also must describe the status of the mitigation actions identified in the previous plan by describing those that have been completed or not completed. For actions that have not been completed, the plan must either describe whether the action is no longer relevant or indicate whether it is included as part of the updated action plan.

The planning team may ask the local agencies and departments assigned responsibility for the implementation of mitigation actions in the previous plan to provide a status update on each of their actions. For instance, agencies could provide an evaluation of the following:

  • If the action was completed, did it have the intended results? Did it achieve the goals outlined in the plan? What factors contributed to success?
  • If the action was not completed, what were the barriers to implementation? For instance, was there a lack of political support, funding, staff availability, or other obstacle? Should the action be included in the updated mitigation strategy?

Task 7 describes how to develop a process for monitoring and evaluating the plan that can be used to evaluate progress.

Describe Changes in Priorities

Element D3

A local jurisdiction must review and revise its plan to reflect changes in priorities.

44 CFR §201.6(d)(3)

The plan must describe if and how any priorities changed since the plan was previously approved. Your community’s mitigation priorities may change over time for a variety of reasons. Addressing changes in priorities allows you to redirect actions to reflect current conditions, including financial and political realities, or changes in conditions or priorities due to disaster events. In addition, now that the community has implemented some actions, you may apply lessons learned about what works and does not.

New actions can be identified based on the updated risk assessment and capability assessment. New actions are prioritized in combination with the actions carried forward from the previous plan. Factors that may influence changes in priorities include the following:

  • Altered conditions due to disaster events and recovery priorities
  • Changing local resources, community needs, and capabilities
  • New State or Federal policies and funding resources
  • New hazard impacts identified in the updated risk assessment
  • Changes in development patterns that could influence the effects of hazards
  • New partners that have come to the table

If no changes in priorities are necessary, plan updates may validate the information in the previously approved plan.