FEMA Guides to Expanding Mitigation

FEMA’s Guides to Expanding Mitigation are part of a series designed to highlight how emerging partnerships connecting communities to public and private actors in key sectors can support more effective hazard mitigation projects and planning. The guides cover a range of sectors and topics, including equity, transportation, electric power, municipal financing, public health, agriculture, and arts and culture. This project supports FEMA’s goal of building a culture of preparedness as part of the agency’s strategic plan.

Each of the guides describes why the topic or sector is important in the context of hazard mitigation and highlights examples of successful connections. Strategies and resources are additionally outlined for those working in hazard mitigation to engage effectively with key actors in these different sectors. As of September 2020, the guides include:

  • Connecting Mitigation and Equity, which discusses the opportunities to incorporate equity into mitigation strategies through engagement and collaboration with community members;
  • Connecting Mitigation and Electric Power, which describes the importance of maintaining a reliable electric power system and infrastructure and collaborating with regional electric power authorities, renewable advocates, and other stakeholders;
  • Connecting Mitigation and Municipal Financing, which provides an overview of potential funding and financing options for hazard mitigation and ways to align these investments with community budgets;
  • Connecting Mitigation and Transportation, which emphasizes the common public safety goals of transportation and emergency management, and the importance of cross-agency collaboration to ensure the resilience and reliability of transportation systems during and following disasters;
  • Connecting Mitigation and Public Health, which highlights climate change’s detrimental impacts on public health and the ways in which public health officials can add their insights to mitigation projects;
  • Connecting Mitigation and Agriculture, which describes the role of hazard mitigation and key partners in ensuring a resilient agriculture sector - including protecting local economies and the food supply chain;
  • Connecting Mitigation and Arts and Culture, which focuses on the role of arts in communicating risks, building knowledge, and connecting community members to each other.

The Connecting Mitigation and Equity guide provides an overarching description of what equity means, looks like, and how it can be achieved in the context of mitigation. According to the guide, equity is achieved when “interventions are taken to ensure that ALL are provided with the resources necessary to meaningfully participate, make progress, and benefit from hazard mitigation.”

There is an emphasis on engaging with, and taking into consideration the expertise and needs of the Whole Community. This “Whole Community” refers to individuals, familities, businesses, nonprofit groups, government, and other partners that have a shared responsibility in emergency preparedness and mitigation.

The guide provides best practices for emergency managers to assess social vulnerability and work in collaboration with frontline populations. Additionally, indicators of achieving equity in mitigation initiatives are provided, such as:

  • At-risk populations lend expertise and are active in the mitigation process, partially through the removal of barriers to participation,
  • Investment is taking place in traditionally underserved communities,
  • Race is no longer a determining factor of risk,
  • Those engaging in mitigation activities are representative of the Whole Community, or
  • Cost share is reduced for under-resourced communities and resources are provided to build local capacity for grant application.

 

The Guides to Expanding Mitigation were developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 2, which oversees federal emergency management for New York, New Jersey, eight Tribal Nations, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, the Guides are designed to be applicable to communities working on hazard mitigation across the U.S. The first Guides in the series were developed in May 2020 and FEMA continues to add to the series.

Publication Date: September 2020

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  • Best practice
  • Planning guides

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