Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning
Congress enacted the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) on October 10, 2000. Also known as the Stafford Act Amendments, the bill was signed into law by President Clinton on October 30, 2000, creating Public Law 106-390. The law established a national program for pre-disaster mitigation and streamlined the federal administration of disaster relief.
Specific rules on the implementation of DMA 2000 required that all communities have an approved Multiple Hazards Mitigation Plan in place in order to qualify for future federal disaster mitigation grants following a Presidential disaster declaration. According to federal regulations, every five years regional and local jurisdictions must review and revise their plan to reflect changes in development, progress in mitigation efforts, and changes in priorities. The updated plan must be resubmitted to MEMA and FEMA for review and approval in order to continue to be eligible for mitigation project grant funding. Plan updates must demonstrate that progress has been made in the last five years through a comprehensive review of the previous plan.
2016 Merrimack Valley Region Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan
14 of the Merrimack Valley’s 15 communities participated in the regional planning process for the Merrimack Valley Region Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, adopted in 2016. The plan is valid through May 2021 and ensures eligibility of the participating communities in FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs. (Note: Amesbury received separate grant funding to develop its municipal Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan which was adopted in 2017). Planning for an update of the 2016 plan will begin in the spring of 2020.
Local hazard mitigation planning is the process of organizing community resources, identifiying and assessing risk, and determining how to best minimize or manage those risks.