To further support the hazard mitigation planning efforts of tribal governments, FEMA has launched a new independent self-study course, IS-350 Tribal Mitigation Planning, hosted by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). 

The course, as the title suggests, provides tribal officials, planners, emergency managers, and other partners with the information necessary to prepare and implement a tribal hazard mitigation plan. It is based on FEMA’s Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide (2017) and the Tribal Mitigation Planning Handbook (2019), with an emphasis on “getting the right people to the table and working through the full planning process.” This, as participants will learn, involves: 

1)    Describing the community, aka planning area, including tribal assets and any unique characteristics 

2)    Identifying what natural hazards (based on previous occurrences) could affect the planning area

3)    Explaining the impacts, both short- and long-term, that the identified hazards can have on the community, specifically its people, property, and land

4)    Reviewing current capabilities, such as plans, policies, and programs, to mitigate the impacts

5)    Developing a strategy that identifies tribal mitigation goals and actions

6)    Developing an action plan that prioritizes actions and provides details to assist with implementation

7)    Keeping track of progress using a defined method and schedule

Hazard mitigation plans, as routinely expressed by FEMA, are “key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.” In fact, the National Institute of Building Sciences currently estimates that every dollar invested in mitigation saves six dollars in prevented damages (up from four dollars in previous years). 

It is also important to note that having a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is required for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) projects. 

Learn more about the new IS-350 Tribal Mitigation Planning course today. It can be found online at https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=is-350. And if you still need help developing or updating your tribe’s hazard mitigation plan after completing the course, BOLDplanning is ready to assist.