Hazard Mitigation Planning

The Hazard Mitigation Planning Division develops and maintains the State Hazard Mitigation Plans (SHMP) and supports the development and state approval of Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMP) to identify state and local risk to hazards, mitigation capabilities, and mitigation strategies. This Division is comprised of the State Mitigation Planning Unit and Local Mitigation Planning Unit. Our staff maintains and updates all comprehensive state and local mitigation planning programs.

Local Hazard Mitigation Planning

Because of the history of disasters throughout California, encouraging communities to adopt Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs) is a priority. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires that states review LHMPs as part of their state hazard mitigation planning process. The intent is three‐fold:

  1. To gather hazard, vulnerability, and mitigation information from the local level for use in state‐level planning
  2. To ensure that state and local hazard mitigation planning is coordinated to the greatest extent practical
  3. To ensure that local jurisdictions are made aware of the hazards and vulnerabilities within their jurisdiction and to develop strategies to reduce those vulnerabilities

This process ensures that mitigation actions are based on sound planning processes that account for the risks and capabilities of California communities. Mitigation plans form the foundation for a community’s long term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

DMA 2000 provided an opportunity for states, tribes, and local governments to take a new and revitalized approach to mitigation planning. To implement the DMA 2000 planning requirements, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register on February 26, 2002. This rule (44 CFR Part 201, Section 201.6) established the mitigation planning requirements for states, tribes, and local communities. For LHMPs, it essentially states that local jurisdictions must also demonstrate that proposed mitigation actions are based on a sound planning process that accounts for the inherent risk and capabilities of the individual communities.

LHMP Assistance and Development

Recovery hazard mitigation planning staff assists local governments in the development of LHMPs and provides technical assistance, training and outreach to local jurisdictions. Cal OES reviews all LHMPs in accordance with DMA 2000 regulations and coordinates with local jurisdictions to ensure compliance with FEMA’s Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide, dated October 2011. Once Cal OES planning staff find the LHMP to be “approvable,” the plan is forwarded to FEMA Region IX mitigation planning staff for final review and approval.

State Hazard Mitigation Planning

The 2018 California State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) represents the state’s primary hazard mitigation guidance document, and is composed of comprehensive and valuable input provided by State Hazard Mitigation Team members and stakeholders. The 2018 SHMP continues to build upon the state’s commitment to reduce or eliminate potential risks and impacts of natural and human-caused disasters to help communities with their mitigation and disaster resiliency efforts. The 2018 plan includes: an updated statewide risk assessment, disaster history, and statistics; recent mitigation progress, success stories, and best practices; updated state hazard mitigation goals, objectives, and strategies; and updated climate mitigation progress and adaptation strategies. FEMA approved California’s 2018 SHMP on September 28, 2018.

2018 SHMP Plan & Fact Sheet

The California 2018 SHMP Fact Sheet includes an overview of the 2018 California State Hazard Mitigation Plan. For additional information relating to SHMP purpose and organization, please view Chapter 1: Introduction of the SHMP.

Mitigation Planning Guidance and Resources

Local mitigation plans look at natural hazards that may affect jurisdictions such as local governments and suggest mitigation actions to reduce losses from those hazards. Departments within local governments, including emergency managers, mitigation planners, community and economic development planners, floodplain managers, and other stakeholders, may find the following resources below useful. For additional information related to FEMA Policy updates, please visit their website at FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning. 

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Regulations and Guidance

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), creating the framework for state, local, tribal and territorial governments to engage in hazard mitigation planning to receive certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance.  Requirements and procedures to implement hazard mitigation planning provisions may be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Stafford Act Title 44, Chapter 1, Part 201 (44 CFR Part 201).

Since the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 amended the Stafford Act, additional laws have been passed that help to shape hazard mitigation policy.  These revisions are included in the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) of 2013, the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016.

Website Link: FEMA HM Planning Regulations and Guidance Website

The following grant programs have an approved and adopted hazard mitigation plan eligibility requirement:

The following mitigation planning guidance documents constitute FEMA’s official policy on and interpretation of the hazard mitigation planning requirements:

State Mitigation Planning Policy

Local Mitigation Planning Policy

Tribal Mitigation Planning Policy

Resources for Local Governments and Jurisdictions to Use in Developing or Updating a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

Whether this is your first hazard mitigation plan, or an update to an existing plan, the Local Mitigation Planning Handbook is one of the best documents to start with. While this document was released in 2013, it provides a framework of the planning process that can be used to meet the Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guidance that is effective April 19, 2023.

The updated Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide which outlines the local Planning Requirements by element can be found here Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide. These two documents provide the framework of what is required of an LHMP.

Additional documents to support the planning process can be found below:

FEMA Local Plan Review Tool with HHPD

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Review Tool demonstrates how the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan meets the regulation in 44 CFR §201.6 and offers State and FEMA Mitigation Planners an opportunity to provide feedback to the community. Please email Cal OES at HMA@caloes.ca.gov for the latest version of the LHMP Review Tools.


Hazard Mitigation and CRS

How to Maximize Community Rating System Credits for your Local Hazard Mitigation

Region IX Tribal Plan Review Tool

Hazard Mitigation Funding Opportunities

Recovery HM has open funding opportunities to assist in the development of your mitigation plans. Interested agencies are invited to submit a Notice of Interest (NOI) for eligible Hazard Mitigation projects and planning activities. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Unit administers the federal grants and provides subject matter expertise to local governments and other eligible applicant with respect to mitigation activities, application development and grant management. For addition information relating to grant opportunities and program support, please visit the HMGP page.

Technical Assistance

For questions and/or concerns, or to become a member of California’s State Hazard Mitigation Team (SHMT), please contact SHMP@caloes.ca.gov

For questions and/or assistance with your LHMP, please contact our program at mitigationplanning@caloes.ca.gov.
For information regarding the funding opportunities, please visit the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) webpage or contact the program at HMA@caloes.ca.gov.