What is mitigation and why is a mitigation plan necessary?

This assignment is intended to grasp your insight into the numerous potential and man-made disasters for which emergency planners must be prepared to deal. Emergency management is a quickly evolving profession with many opportunities for individuals who wish to pursue it as a career. This exercise will offer insights into the scope and responsibilities of individuals in the profession.

You will be provided a “Hazard Mitigation Template” (see above), from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. You will be asked to complete the five exercises in the worksheet for your community, or a community of your choice, as the focus for the mitigation study. This exercise requires a deal of research and analysis on their part. After doing the research required to complete each of the five sections of the worksheet, you must also final report which thoroughly examines the risks, preparedness, and response capabilities of the community.

At the end of Week 3, you will develop an outline and email that course of action for the exercise to your instructor for approval, and comments.  

For the final report you should also include suggestions on how to mitigate the risks and improve response capabilities. You may also include relevant charts, graphs, and other illustrations to support, supplement and/or clarify.

Thorough data collection for this exercise requires time. You should start data collection immediately in order to have enough time to collect, synthesize and report on the data.

Some possible resources for data include:

  • Emergency management web sites of the community the students have selected.
  • Police and fire websites.
  • Their local emergency management department. Often communities of size have an emergency management department. In smaller communities it is often the fire chief who is the designated emergency manager.
  • The community’s Streets Department or Traffic Engineering Department.
  • Local utility companies.
  • Other internet sources.

Outside readings for this project include: 

  • Your text
  • The Hazard Mitigation Planning Template itself is a great source of information.
  • The Hazard Mitigation Planning Tools and Techniques Guide, Download here.
  • The community’s planning department.
  • The community’s budget department.

You must remember when doing the exercise to also consider surrounding communities because their disasters can also affect your community and become your responsibility. Consider industrial manufacturing using toxic substances, military bases, large scale utility sites, etc. that may be close by. This exercise is a chance for you to develop a mitigation plan for the community you have chosen.

View this exercise as if you are the newly appointed emergency manager of the community. Prepare a written report to the governmental entity to which you are accountable, i.e. city council, county board of supervisors, or other legislative bodies. Prepare a thorough report to provide to them as part of your first meeting with this group. The report should be thorough, professional, and audience appropriate. The report can also include charts, graphs, and other illustrations for clarification.

The final document must comply with the writing guidelines established for this course. It will be a minimum of seven (7) pages, not including the cover and reference pages. A thorough exercise, particularly one including charts and graphs, will exceed this minimum by several pages. The students must include in-text citations indicating where they obtained data and information. Also they must remember to support their findings and recommendations with references from relevant sources.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Outline

1. Introduction

  • The community’s disaster history.
  • What is mitigation and why is a mitigation plan necessary?
  • How was the plan prepared?
  • How did you obtain your information?
  • The goals and objectives of the mitigation plan?

2. Community and Hazard Exposure Profile (part 2 of the template)

  • Community population
  • Miles of roads
  • Airports
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Military bases
  • Hospitals
  • Dams
  • Schools
  • Etc.

3. List of possible community hazards (part 1 of the template). For each hazard discuss:

  • Hazard description
  • impact on property
  • Impact on safety and health
  • Any other community considerations

4. Hazard Vulnerability analysis and frequency chart (part 3 of the template)

  • Explanation of a hazard vulnerability analysis
  • Your chart or list matrix

5. Your community’s capability assessment (part 4 of the worksheet)

  • Community response capabilities
  • Description of local law enforcement response capabilities (size, capability, etc.)
  • Description of local fire agencies and response capabilities
  • EMS capabilities, ambulance services, hospitals, etc.
  • Physical resources
  • Technical resources (example: early warning systems)
  • Information resources (radio, TV, etc.)
  • Financial resources (emergency funds in the community, grants, state funds, etc.)

6. Recommended Mitigation Measures (part 5 of the template). For each measure include information such as:

  • Description
  • Objectives supported
  • Who is responsible
  • When must it be done
  • Who can help
  • Budget

7. Conclusion

  • Their overall assessment of response capabilities
  • Their recommendations for implementing priority mitigation projects for the community
  • Their overall assessment of the community’s vulnerability and response capabilities

8. Any additional charts, graphs, illustrations, etc.

  • They may include charts, graphs, and illustrations in the mitigation plan itself to assist with clarification and explanation. They must remember to include source citations if they copied items and/or for the information provided in the item if they created the chart or graph.

9. Cover page and reference page

  • The cover page and reference page must be included. Remember these pages are not to be counted as part of the seven (7) page minimum.

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