Local hazard mitigation plans: A preliminary estimation of state-level completion from 2004 to 2009

Andrea M. Jackman, Mario G. Beruvides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


According to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and subsequent federal policy, local governments are required to have a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) written and approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be eligible for federal mitigation assistance. This policy took effect on November 1, 2004. Using FEMA's database of approved HMPs and US Census Bureau's 2002 Survey of Local Governments, it is estimated that 3 years after the original deadline, 67 percent of the country's active local governments were without an approved HMP. A follow-up examination in 2009 of the eight states with the lowest completion percentages did not indicate significant improvement following the initial study and revealed inconsistencies in plan completion data over time. The completion percentage varied greatly by state and did not appear to follow any expected pattern such as wealth or hazard vulnerability that might encourage prompt completion of a plan. Further, the results indicate that ∼92 percent of the approved plans were completed by a multijurisdictional entity, which suggests single governments seldom complete and gain approval for plans. Based on these results, it is believed that state-level resolution is not adequate for explaining the variation of plan completion, and further study at the local level is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Emergency Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Mitigation
  • Planning
  • States


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