State Hazard Mitigation Plan by FEMA as "Enhanced" Qualifies California Agencies for Additional Funding after Major Disasters

Sacramento, California - The efforts of emergency planners representing local, state and tribal agencies, special districts and educational institutions in California have again been recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with its designation of the 2013 California State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) on September 30th as an "enhanced" plan.

The "enhanced" designation makes California eligible for millions of dollars in additional federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMPG) funds following each Major Disaster declaration that is issued during the next three years.

Development of the 2013 SHMP is the culmination of nearly a year's work by a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team of subject matter experts representing more than 80 agencies.  The project was facilitated by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the City & Regional Planning Department, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.  The project team was charged with implementing the 2010 plan and updating it to comply with the most-current FEMA requirements.

Under current law, states with hazard mitigation plans recognized by FEMA as "standard" are eligible to receive up to 15 percent of the total individual and public assistance funds spent by FEMA after each Presidential disaster declaration.  States with "enhanced" plans are eligible to receive up to 20 percent of the total funds spent by FEMA on individual and public assistance programs after each declaration.

The SHMP represents the state's primary hazard mitigation guidance document, and provides an updated and comprehensive description of California's historical and current hazard analysis, mitigation strategies, goals and objectives. Innovative features of the California hazard mitigation plan include an expanded discussion of climate change and adaptation strategies, a new and expanded section on volcanic hazards in the state, as well as significant mitigation initiatives, strategies and actions completed since adoption of the 2010 SHMP.

"FEMA's recognition of our state Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan as enhanced for the third consecutive review cycle puts us in elite company and is a tribute to the hard work of the team that put the plan together," said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), which spearheaded the development of the plan.

"Recognition by FEMA of California's hazard mitigation plan as an 'enhanced plan' has paid tremendous dividends for local, state and tribal agencies in California and the taxpayers they serve," noted Ghilarducci. "Since January 2010, having an enhanced hazard mitigation plan has enabled us to receive approximately $33.8 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds and more than $135 million in federal Public Assistance funds."

During the past decade, state, local and qualified non-profit agencies have used mitigation funds provided by FEMA following presidential disaster declarations and their own cash and in-kind matches for property risk-reduction projects such as the acquisition and elevation of endangered buildings in floodplains, the implementation of watershed management projects, seismic upgrades to hospitals and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping.

"FEMA is pleased, but not surprised that California has again joined the ranks of those seven states designated as having 'enhanced' Hazard Mitigation plans," said FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward. "That California has long been a leader in many facets of Emergency Management and disaster preparedness is no secret.  But this 'enhanced' designation makes it possible for even greater federal resources to be made available following natural disasters in California."

Information about the California State Hazard Mitigation Plan, FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and related topics is available at:

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