The Hazard Mitigation Plan guides the actions Frederick County will take to reduce risk from disasters over the next five years and beyond. It is meant to work with new and existing plans, building and zoning regulations, and environmental projects. The Plan allows the county to be better prepared and more able to quickly resume normal operations after a disaster by identifying projects that will reduce impacts from hazards. Frederick County has faced hurricanes, damaging winds, flooding, tornadoes and many other hazards. If damage can be prevented before it occurs, lives can be saved and recovery costs reduced.
The Hazard Mitigation Plan also allows the county to receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reduce our community’s vulnerability to disasters. This funding is very important in helping the county continue to grow and develop safely.
Check out the Frederick County Hazard Mitigation Planning Story Map to learn more about hazard mitigation!
Every five years, Frederick County updates the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Frederick County Division of Emergency Management is currently leading a plan update for 2021.
The Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee oversees the plan update process and is made up of planners, emergency managers, and local officials from throughout the county. In addition, smaller planning teams from the participating municipalities and higher education institutions will be involved in the process. The planning teams gather details on mitigation activities that have been completed over the previous five years (like hazard awareness outreach and infrastructure projects) and provide insight into what projects should be done next.
Public input is an important part of the planning process and is important for setting priorities.
Please participate in the Hazard Mitigation Planning Survey.
Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from hazards, such as flooding, winter storms, or dam failures. Disasters can cause loss of life, damage to buildings and infrastructure, as well as have long-lasting impacts on a community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. To help prevent this, mitigation actions are taken, such as public education and outreach programs, elevating buildings above potential floodwaters, or strengthening building codes to make sure new buildings can withstand hurricane-force winds.
Hazard mitigation encourages building in a way that prevents the damage from occurring in the first place. Proactive mitigation planning is an important component of overall development planning.
Frederick County is focusing on hazard mitigation planning to reduce risk and create a safer, more disaster-resilient community.
The hazard mitigation planning process occurs every five years when Frederick County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan is updated. The process has six steps:
First, the planning team, made up of county, municipal and higher-education representatives from throughout Frederick County, is built. The planning team gathers information and data to begin the planning process. Since the county has grown and changed since the last plan update in 2016, it is important to get a current understanding of how development and capabilities have changes. The planning team reviews plans, studies, reports, hazard data, and current priorities.
All of the natural hazards that the county faces are included in the plan to capture the full picture of risk. This involves looking at the locations, extents (strength or magnitude), and impacts for each hazard. Analyzing the hazards helps to identify where and what types of mitigation projects will need to occur. Past hazards and expected changes are also analyzed to calculate what risks might be faced in the future. Finally, past damage to the county is reviewed to help rank the hazards from highest to lowest mitigation priority.
In order to determine the county's ability to address risks, county/municipal plans, resources, and programs are reviewed, along with the overall financial, technical, and administrative resources of participating groups. This helps ensure that mitigation projects and actions are reasonable based on local context.
The planning team reviews and revises mitigation goals, objectives, and past strategies. Based on the results of the hazard risk assessment and capability assessment, new mitigation strategies will be chosen for each participating municipality and higher-education institution. Action plans will be created for those strategies, which includes prioritizing them to make completing the strategies easier.
Even though the plan is formally updated every five years, the plan is regularly reviewed and maintained. Check-ins for the participants are scheduled to make sure progress is being made on mitigation strategies. Creating a procedure for integrating the Hazard Mitigation Plan into other new and existing plans is an important part of this process as well. Throughout the entire process, residents, businesses, and stakeholders are kept in the loop through outreach and opportunities for participation.
After the public reviews and provides input on the draft plan, it will be submitted to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and FEMA for review and approval. Once it has met all state and federal requirements, it will be approved and adopted by the county and all participating municipalities and higher-education institutions.
Throughout the entire process, the public is encouraged to stay involved through meetings, surveys, and other opportunities to provide input.
The plan includes Frederick County and the following municipalities and higher-education institutions:
Public participation is very important for a successful hazard mitigation plan. The valuable knowledge from the residents and businesses of Frederick County help produce a plan that fully understands what matters most and what we should protect.
The Frederick County Hazard Mitigation Planning Survey allows residents, business owners, and county employees to share their concerns opinions on hazard mitigation planning.
More opportunities to provide information, input, and feedback will be available throughout the planning process.
Planning meetings will be recorded and posted for public viewing on the Frederick County Hazard Mitigation Planning YouTube channel. Links and meeting materials will also be posted on this page.
Presentation | Meeting Notes | Recording | Meeting Link