Local Mitigation Strategy

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A Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) is a local government plan in which the United States, typically at county level, that is designed to reduce or eliminate risks to people and property from natural and man-made hazards. Mitigation strategies are supported by state government and federal programs, in line with the Disaster Mitigation Act.

The need for hazard mitigation has become more recognized over the past few years due to the large number of natural hazards which have occurred in the U.S and the increase in the costs to achieve post disaster recovery. Money spent prior to a hazardous event to reduce the impacts of a disaster can result in substantial savings in life and property following the event. The benefits of implementing a mitigation program usually far outweigh the costs. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the states have developed national and state Mitigation Strategies and funding is becoming increasingly more available to support hazard mitigation efforts.

The advantages of developing a LMS program are numerous including guidance in developing pre and post mitigation plans; identifying priority projects and programs for funding; and increasing the likelihood of State and Federal funding for pre- and post-hazard mitigation projects.

The mitigation initiatives that a community develops must have their basis in the community’s guiding principles on hazard mitigation. The initiatives must also actively reduce a community’s vulnerability to hazards. This can be justified through the vulnerability assessment section of the strategy. Finally, mitigation initiatives must accurately reflect the community’s needs. The working group assigned to develop the strategy can help assure that local needs are incorporated in the mitigation initiatives. These steps prevent projects that have no basis in a community’s overall vision of hazard mitigation, or in its vulnerability to hazards on the vulnerability assessment, from being proposed.

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