While these hazards cannot be prevented from occurring, mitigation planning focuses on reducing the impact of such events when they do occur. Mitigation strategies include actions taken in the form of projects that will substantially reduce or eliminate repetitive losses due to the occurrence of the same hazard. Examples may include but are not limited to such actions as purchasing and relocating property in flood plains, steps to eliminate power interruption during storms, upgrades of storm water systems and water treatment facilities, or storm shelters.
The rising costs associated with disaster response and recovery have focused attention of federal, state, and local governments on addressing natural hazards before they occur. Federal laws require State and local governments coordinate mitigation planning and implementation efforts and require State and local mitigation plans as a condition of pre- and post-disaster assistance. Local governments must have a FEMA-approved local Mitigation Plan in order to apply for and/or receive project grants under the following hazard mitigation assistance programs:
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM)
- Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)
- Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL)
In Minnesota the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) is responsible for overseeing local hazard mitigation planning.