Pre-Disaster Mitigation Programs

Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) programs provide consulting and funds to select recipients for hazard mitigation planning and hazard mitigation projects, including construction, prior to a disaster event. 

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Prevention of loss of life and property damage: Programs identify locations/structures at highest risk from likely high-impact events.

Infrastructure improvements: Infrastructure repairs and upgrade provide immediate everyday benefits.

Tips & Techniques

Getting started: Check with the local and state emergency management departments to see current programs and offerings, in particular required Hazard Mitigation Plans. Check with planning departments to see if there is a (1) a list of highest potential risks and (2)  risk profiles for sensitive areas, infrastructure, parcels and/or structures  (e.g., structures in floodplains).

Eligibility: Many programs limit and/or prioritize consulting and funds to certain organizations. In general, public facilities, infrastructure and larger institutions (hospitals, universities) are given access and priority. Homeowners and privately-owned properties are typically eligible as sub-applicants (i.e. apply to the state or local government office that is the primary applicant). Cities can also provide non-funding benefits such as risk profiles and consultations.

Typical priority components: Program benefits are typically ranked and awarded to projects that (1) mitigate critical facilities and/or save lives, (2) benefit small, vulnerable & low-income communities, (3) benefit large numbers of people, (4) deliver multiple hazard mitigation benefits.

Program components: (1) Infrastructure and structure risk and ranking, (2) Cost-benefit analyses, (3) Coordination with FEMA grants & programs, (4) 

Types of mitigation projects: (1) Property Acquisition, (2) Structure elevation, shoring and retrofits, (3) Wildfire mitigation & vegetation management, (4) Localized flood control & stormwater projects, (5) safe rooms (tornado shelters), (6) Critical infrastructure.

Hot Buttons: Public funds to improve private property.


Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)

Image: Flickr/US Army