Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from hazards. Mitigation activities may be implemented prior to, during, or after an accident. However, it has been demonstrated that hazard mitigation is most effective when based on an inclusive, comprehensive long-term plan that is developed before a disaster occurs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has implemented the various hazard mitigation planning provisions through regulations.
Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission/Rural Development Corporation has partnered with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and local county governments to create Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plans. In 2011, NEMO RPC entered into a subcontract with the NWMO Regional Council of Governments for duties related to the creation of a statewide hazard mitigation plan for Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives. Out RPC began creating chapters of the statewide plan that covers strategies and considerations specific to electric cooperatives in our region. The completion of these plans allows for jurisdictions to apply for Mitigation Grant Programs. FEMA’s Mitigation Grant Programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages. Currently FEMA administers the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, the Repetitive Flood Claims Program, and the Severe Repetitive Loss Program. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds are available following a Presidential disaster declaration. Eligible applicants include States, local governments, Indian Tribal governments, and some private non-profit organizations. Communities may also apply on behalf of affected individuals and businesses but all funds my be used to reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters. Grant applications must be submitted to the state and then the applications are sent to the federal level for FEMA to conduct the final eligibility review to ensure that all projects are compliant with their regulations.