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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 maintain and update all comprehensive state and local mitigation planning programs.

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.

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.

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

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

Additional Mitigation Planning Policies

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

California Flood After Fire Toolkit and Materials

A Resource for Technical Specialists to Assess Flood and Debris Flow Risk after a Wildfire

The California Silver Jackets released the Flood After Fire: California Toolkit, which is a collaborative, living document that is comprised of a collection of tools, methods, and other resources to asses the risks associated with flooding and debris flow after a fire.

The toolkit is available for download at the following webpages:

The California Silver Jackets is a partnership program that brings together Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies to find collaborative solutions to complex flood risk management issues. Visit the DWR webpage for additional information.

G-318 Fact Sheet (March 2015)

This fact sheet provides the extend examples by hazard.

FEMA Local Plan Review Tool with HHPD (Ver. 12.4.19)

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.

Hazard Mitigaiton and CRS

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

Region IX Tribal Plan Review Tool

Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Funding

February 27, 2019, Director’s Letter to Local Agencies. NOI due March 15, 2019.

Additional PrepareCA Application, Resources, and Guidance Documents 

PrepareCA Jumpstart Application

PrepareCA JumpStart is a competitive $15 million dollar grant program that provides Technical Assistance (TA) and State funding to eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities. Through this grant program, eligible communities can develop local initiatives that foster resilience via capacity building, mitigation and preparedness activities, community outreach/education, response and recovery planning, and/or project scoping. Each application may be up to $1 million dollars in State funds, and applicant entities may submit multiple applications for distinct activities and initiatives.

Do not start this application until you have thoroughly read these instructions. Failure to do so may result in resubmission of this form by the applicant. Cal OES requires this form be completed for all PrepareCA JumpStart applications.

2022 PrepareCA Jumpstart Webinar Presentation

This webinar presentation includes: Program Overview, Eligibility, and Application Review


2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity Update

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is pleased to announce an update to the 2021 funding opportunity for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). In addition, Cal OES is announcing a new one-time, state-funded initiative (“Prepare California”) to help socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities—which are impacted disproportionately by disasters and experience longer and more challenging economic and structural recoveries—jumpstart their progress toward greater resilience through advanced outreach, technical assistance, and funds to subsidize local mitigation and resilience initiatives.

Overall, 2021 FEMA HMGP and Prepare California (PrepareCA) mitigation and resilience funding can be grouped as follows:

  1. PrepareCA JumpStart – $15 million in state funding dedicated to help jumpstart eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities in their development and implementation of resilience planning and activities.
  2. FEMA HMGP – ~$428 million in federal funding for eligible FEMA HMGP activities and projects.
    • PrepareCA Match – FEMA HMGP – $255 million in federal funding for FEMA HMGP activities and projects benefiting eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities. o PrepareCA Match will provide $85 million in state funding to cover the required 25% local cost share (non-federal share).
    • 2021 FEMA HMGP – ~$173 million in federal funding for eligible FEMA HMGP activities and projects to communities state-wide. o Communities will be responsible for covering the required 25% local cost share (non-federal share).

2021 FAQ - Notice of Funding Opportunity Update

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity Update

PrepareCA FEMA HMGP Funding Flyer

This flyer includes program objectives, application instructions, comparison of funding opportunities, and funding priorities. 

Social Vulnerability & High Hazard Risk Community Criteria and Map

In this analysis, we consider five hazard types facing California communities: wildfires, earthquakes, floods, drought, and extreme heat. To identify communities that might benefit most from support to implement hazard mitigation projects, we 1) attempt to objectively estimate community exposures to each of these hazards across the state, and 2) link these estimates to a commonly used measure of social vulnerability, the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This analysis is done at the census tract level. All census tracts with available data are ranked from lowest to highest in terms of their overall hazard exposure and social vulnerability, and then assigned a percentile rank relative to all other census tracts in the state. This ranking ranges from zero to one, where a higher rank indicates greater estimated hazard exposure or social vulnerability. For example, if a census tract has an overall hazard percentile rank of 0.75, 75% of census tracts in the state should have lower hazard exposure than that tract and 25% should have higher exposure.

Our approach to estimating hazard exposures attempts to characterize the relative likelihood of an event occurring in a particular census tract using available data. We do not attempt to estimate the population, economic, or business damages that would result from a disaster event.

Technical Assistance

Our subject matter experts are available to discuss project eligibility, benefit cost analysis, technical feasibility, EHP requirements, the application process, or other related matters.

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

For questions and/or assistance with your LHMP, please contact our program at mitigationplanning@pfwt.caloes.ca.gov.
For information regarding the funding opportunities, please visit the Cal OES 404 HMGP Unit webpage or contact the program at HMA@pfwt.caloes.ca.gov.