Mitigation and Planning
Hazard Mitigation Plans
The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) collaborates with Illinois Counties, Regional Planning Commissions, and the University of Illinois Extension to create and update local Hazard Mitigation Plans. Hazard Mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from hazard events. It is an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after disasters and serves to break the cycle of damage and repair in hazardous areas. The essential steps of hazard mitigation are Hazard Identification, Vulnerability Analysis, and Creating a Hazard Mitigation Strategy. All three steps are addressed in the creation of the local Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Preparing a plan requires the engagement of local governments, stakeholders, and residents in the planning process. Developing the hazard mitigation plan will enable a county to:
- Identify actions for risk reduction that are agreed upon by stakeholders and the public.
- Focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities.
- Build partnerships by involving citizens, organizations, and businesses.
- Increase education and awareness around threats and hazards, as well as their risks.
- Communicate priorities to State and Federal officials.
- Align risk reduction with other state or community objectives.
FEMA requires every locality to maintain a hazard mitigation plan that examines the risk and impact of natural disasters and provides strategies for reducing impacts to people and property. A plan must be updated every 5 years to ensure relevancy and continued support from FEMA for its mitigation projects.
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