Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan
About the Hazard Mitigation Plan
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 and Climate Adaptation Plan Story Map to learn more about hazard mitigation!
Updating the Plan
Every five years, Frederick County updates the Hazard Mitigation Plan.
The latest update was completed and adopted in 2022.
The Plan is available for download: 2022 Frederick County Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan.
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 focuses 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:
STEP 1: Build the Planning Team and Gather Data
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.
STEP 2: Identify Hazards and Assess the Risks the County Faces
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.
STEP 3: Determine the County’s Capability to Mitigate Risks
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.
STEP 4: Develop a Mitigation Strategy to Address Risks
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.
STEP 5: Create a Process to Keep the Plan Updated
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.
STEP 6: Get Approval and Adopt the Plan
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.
The plan includes Frederick County and the following municipalities and higher-education institutions:
- City of Brunswick
- City of Frederick
- Town of Burkittsville
- Town of Emmitsburg
- Town of Middletown
- Town of Mount Airy
- Town of Myersville
- Town of New Market
- Town of Thurmont
- Town of Walkersville
- Town of Woodsboro
- Village of Rosemont
- Frederick Community College
- Hood College
- Mount St. Mary’s University
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.
When the plan in in a review year, there are opportunities for the public to participate and provide input.