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Mitigation Planning Series
Wynne Kwan, AICP, LEED AP, Senior Planner, BakerAECOM
CCAMP is part of FEMA’s Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment, and Planning) program which provides communities with flood information and tools they can use to enhance their mitigation plans and better protect their citizens.  From discovering local needs, to addressing gaps in flood hazard data, and working with community representatives in assessing risk and vulnerability, mitigation planning is considered throughout the process.  The vision represented by the Risk MAP life cycle, shown below, begins with Identifying Risk, Assessing Risk, Communicating Risk, and finally Mitigating Risk.  The new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels resulting from the Open Pacific Coast (OPC) and San Francisco Bay Area Coastal (BAC) Studies will enable communities to “identify risk” in the Risk MAP life cycle.  The question then becomes how to incorporate the resulting risk data and information to close the Risk MAP life cycle and develop mitigation actions accordingly.
The goals that FEMA has established for Risk MAP include:
·  Communicate Risk: Ensure that a measurable increase of the public’s awareness and understanding of risk results in a measurable reduction of current and future vulnerability.
·   Mitigate Risk: Lead and support States, local, and Tribal communities to effectively engage in risk-based mitigation planning resulting in sustainable actions that reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from natural hazards. 
To accomplish these goals, a new feature in Coastal Beat, the Mitigation Planning Series, will focus on hazard mitigation planning.  The Mitigation Planning Series will provide communities with articles, resources, and tips on how to incorporate the results of the CCAMP OPC and BAC coastal flood mapping efforts into their hazard mitigation planning activities and document related coastal hazard mitigation efforts in a local jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). 
This first installment of the Mitigation Planning Series will define mitigation and summarize how HMPs fit into the Risk MAP life cycle.  Future topics to be covered in the Series include: mitigation actions to address coastal flood risks; how to prioritize and develop coastal actions and implementation strategies for potential funding opportunities building on existing plans, programs and funding mechanisms; and flood hazard mitigation success stories.  If there is something you’d like the Mitigation Planning Series to address, please submit your suggestions to Wynne Kwan at
What is Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation is defined by FEMA as “any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to human life and property from a hazard event.” On average, each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $4 in avoided future losses in addition to saving lives and preventing injuries (National Institute of Building Science Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council 2005).  Mitigation can take several forms, including siting, construction techniques, protective works, maintenance, land use regulation, coastal zone management planning, and enhanced natural buffers to address coastal hazards, such as coastal flooding, wave run up, shoreline erosion, and storm surges.  The Mitigation Planning Series will highlight various mitigation actions previously implemented by coastal communities to address these coastal hazards.   
Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs) and the Risk MAP Life Cycle
The Risk MAP life cycle complements the process of developing and updating HMPs.  A community’s HMP, like other official planning documents, serves as its official statement of hazard identification, vulnerability analysis, risk assessment, and mitigation strategy to assist decision makers in directing available resources.  With the public involvement components of Risk MAP, opportunities are provided throughout the planning process to communicate risk to, and obtain feedback from community officials and other stakeholders.  When communities continuously monitor, evaluate, update, and implement actions identified in their HMPs, the HMP becomes a living document.  FEMA collaborates with the California Emergency Management Agency to approve HMPs making it possible for communities to receive federal mitigation and disaster assistance.

 Coastal Beat Story Archive

collapse Year : 2012 ‎(7)
<a href=''>Risk Map Local</a>
<a href=''>FEMA Leverages LiDAR</a>
<a href=''>FEMA’s CCAMP Studies and Our Coast, Our Future</a>
<a href=''>Region IX to Conduct First Flood Risk Review Meeting for CCAMP</a>
collapse Year : 2013 ‎(19)
<a href=''>FEMA Partners with Oceanweather and Scripps Institution of Oceanography to Bring Modeling Expertise to CCAMP OPC Study</a>
<a href=''>FEMA Region IX Holds Meetings for the California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project / Open Pacific Coast Study</a>
<a href=''>Primary Frontal Dune Coastal High Hazard Area Mapping Requirements</a>
<a href=''>FEMA Holds South Bay Workshop to Kick-off Detailed Analysis in the South Bay Counties</a>
<a href=''>Translating Coastal Flood Hazard Modeling Results into Floodplain Mapping</a>
<a href=''>Terrain Modeling in FEMA’s California Coastal Flood Studies</a>
<a href=''>Join FEMA’s Community Rating System Program Using California’s Statewide Floodplain Management Activities</a>
<a href=''>Coastal Flood Processes Along the California Coast</a>
<a href=''>FEMA’s Annual Risk Awareness Survey: Findings from Previous Surveys and the Focus for the 2013 Survey</a>
collapse Year : 2014 ‎(9)
<a href=''>E386 Residential Coastal Construction</a>
<a href=''>Engaging Stakeholders to Help Communicate Impacts of BW-12</a>
<a href=''></a>
<a href=''>California Coastal Storm History Part Two – Ventura County</a>
<a href=''>Redelineation: What does it mean for me?</a>
collapse Year : 2015 ‎(2)
<a href=''>FEMA increases community access to draft floodplain mapping data </a>
collapse Year : 2016 ‎(6)
<a href=''></a>
1 - 40Next

 Other Stories

expand Arizona
Educating Maricopa County on the Power of Water,
Discovery Process, Thursday, February 23, 2012
expand California
Discovery Process, Thursday, March 1, 2012
NFIP Substantial Improvement and Substantial Damage Course, Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Santa Barbara County and Incorporated Areas Countywide Flood Insurance Rate Map,
Join FEMA’s Community Rating System Program Using California’s Statewide Floodplain Management Activities,
expand Coastal Studies
Discovery Process, Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Betty the Prepared Dog, Saturday, April 28, 2012
expand Hawaii
Tsunami: Learning from Experience in Hawaii,
Public Outreach Meeting for FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, Wednesday, August 8, 2012
expand Nevada
Clark County Flood Facts,
expand Region Wide
Be Prepared for a Flooding Event in your Community Today!,
Watershed University , Friday, June 1, 2012
Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware, Thursday, May 2, 2013
1 - 30 Next
  • The Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) Report: SOMAs Deciphered

    Many community officials and floodplain managers are called upon to review a Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) report, but how familiar are you with this document, and the process of developing it? Did you know that the ability to revise or amend effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels is always available? Revisions and amendments to flood hazard information may be accomplished through FEMA’s Letter of Map Change (LOMC) process, without having to re-publish the FIRM. When a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) update or restudy requires a revised FIRM panel to be re-published, the existing LOMCs that applied to the old effective FIRM panels are superseded by the newly effective FIRM panels, and LOMCs that have remained valid are revalidated. As part of a map revision, FEMA publishes a Preliminary and Final SOMA report. The SOMA records a complete list of all previously issued LOMCs, and their valid or superseded status, for each community affected by revised FIRM panels. The SOMA assists community officials in maintaining the most up-to-date information on their community’s FIRMs. (Read more…)

  • Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Insurance Studies: From Preliminary to Effective

    ​FEMA flood hazard maps inform communities about the local flood risk. Flood hazard mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as FEMA regulatory products provide the basis for regulating development and determining flood insurance requirements under the NFIP regulations. FEMA maintains and updates regulatory flood hazard data through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports.

    Following the data acquisition and data development phases of the flood insurance study process, FEMA distributes one set of the preliminary FIRM panels, the preliminary FIS Report, and the preliminary Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) to community CEOs. FEMA also posts PDF versions of the preliminary FIRM panels and FIS Report, as well as the DFIRM database containing the GIS shapefiles, to the Map Service Center (MSC), where they are available for public download. (The preliminary FIRM panels and the preliminary DFIRM database are archived on the MSC when the panels, FIS report, and database become effective.) The steps that follow, referred to as the post-preliminary process, include the public comment and appeal period, community and public meetings, the Letter of Final Determination, and community adoption/compliance requirements. 
    From July 2015 through November 2015, FEMA distributed preliminary data to ten coastal counties as part of the Open Pacific Coast Study and three counties as part of the San Francisco Bay Area Coastal Study. For more information about what goes into a flood map, go to this infographic on FEMA’s website. (Read more…)

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