Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Resource Update: APA Hazard Mitigation Policy Guide (2020)

The American Planning Association (APA) recently approved a landmark Hazard Mitigation Policy Guide (a free download) intended to help communities and municipalities structure a planning process that will result in the most effective and achievable hazard mitigation plans and policies.  By way of introduction, the guide describes the three parts of an effective resilience strategy and likens it to a “three-legged stool comprised of Mitigation, Adaptation, and Response/Recovery.”  

 The guide continues:

·       Hazard Mitigation comprises a series of actions that lessen the severity or intensity of the hazard’s impact when it strikes and begins with avoidance and minimization.

·       Adaptation entails modifying the natural or built environment to make it more suited to changed or changing conditions and situations. Adaptation can also mean changes in community behavior that better safeguard human and environmental health when faced with the stresses imposed by hazards of all types.

·       Response/Recovery is the response during and after an event to protect public safety, health, and well-being and, ultimately, to facilitate community recovery through repair or replacement, ideally to a more resilient condition.

All of these are necessary components of resilience. Planning that focuses on one to the exclusion of the others will not support true resiliency. However, a strong mitigation program can lessen the need for and expense of response and recovery.

I highly recommend this timely addition to Hazard Mitigation literature!

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