Hazard Mitigation Planning
Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP) update efforts include conducting research to develop text and maps that will clearly describe a county’s community profile, land use, disaster history, hazard analysis, and risk assessment. This includes designing and implementing strategies for input by county departments and the public on risk assessment and mitigation strategies, and facilitating public meetings to develop and gather input on hazard mitigation strategies and priorities.
To get started, contact Stacey Stark ([email protected]).
The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan is a requirement of the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000). The development of a local government plan is required in order to maintain eligibility for certain federal disaster assistance and hazard mitigation funding programs. For communities to be eligible for future mitigation funds, they must adopt an MHMP. Research by the National Institute of Building Sciences has shown that for every dollar spent on hazard mitigation, an average of $6 is saved.
Risk & Vulnerability Assessment
The hazard risk and vulnerability assessments in hazard mitigation plans must meet the FEMA requirement to “estimate the human and economic losses based on the exposure and vulnerability of people, buildings, and infrastructure.”
A lot of data exists that can help us assess risk based on physical factors, such as geology that is more susceptible to erosion or sinkholes. We use historical event data to derive the probability of future events—for example, flood boundary data at a 1 percent annual chance flood or the probability of a tornado based on the frequency of past events.
To assess vulnerability, we look at populations, structures with essential functions, and structures of great consequence economically and socially.
U-Spatial @UMD conducts the hazard risk assessment for 100-year floods using the Hazus GIS tool. This tool enables communities of all sizes to predict estimated losses from floods and to measure the impact of various mitigation practices that might help reduce those losses. The Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management office has determined that Hazus should play a critical role in Minnesota’s risk assessments, and therefore the 100-year flood hazard analysis was introduced in the 2010 plans. U-Spatial @UMD has also utilized Hazus for the 2010, 2014, and 2019 Minnesota Hazard Mitigation Plans.
Our plans also consider the changing climate and what impact it may have on future natural hazard events. Based on scientific analysis, there is a high level of confidence that climate change will impact several weather/climate hazards in Minnesota beyond 2025.
According to the fourth National Climate Assessment, "at-risk communities in the Midwest are becoming more vulnerable to climate change impacts such as flooding, drought, and increases in urban heat islands. Tribal nations are especially vulnerable because of their reliance on threatened natural resources for their cultural, subsistence, and economic needs."
U-Spatial @UMD has developed Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan updates for counties and tribal governments across Minnesota, in addition to various Hazus flood hazard analyses. U-Spatial @UMD staff have expertise in geospatial analysis and emergency management planning, and develop plans that engage key stakeholders while designing mitigation strategies based on sound risk assessment.