About the Project

Introduction

Charles County created the Charles County Mitigation Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Stafford Act, the National Flood Insurance Act, and 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The Charles County Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2006 and again in 2012. This plan must be updated and approved by FEMA every five years.

The Purpose (Mission)

  • The purpose of this project is to update the HMP.  Through the update process, the plan will be improved with new information, better analysis, and revised community priorities.

In updating the plan, the following targets will be met:

  • Provide the public opportunities throughout the plan development and drafting process to provide input.
  • Update the risk assessment to contain information from recent disaster events.
  • Update the goals, objectives, and actions for each participating jurisdiction as they relate to reducing losses from natural and human-made hazards.
  • Incorporate information about cultural and historic resources.
  • Obtain state and FEMA approval of the updated plan.

Charles County will benefit from this project by:

  • Ensuring eligibility for all sources of hazard mitigation funds made available through FEMA. 
  • Increasing public awareness and understanding of vulnerabilities, as well as support for specific actions to reduce losses from future disaster events.
  • Ensuring community policies, programs, and goals are compatible with reducing vulnerability to all hazards and identifying those that are incompatible.
  • Building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, increasing opportunities to leverage data and resources in reducing workloads, and achieving shared community objectives.
  • Expanding the understanding of potential risk reduction measures to include plans and regulations, structure and infrastructure projects, natural systems protection, and education and awareness programs. 
  • Informing the development, prioritization, and implementation of mitigation projects. Benefits accrue over the life of the project as losses are avoided from each subsequent hazard event.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Process:

This process has four steps:

Step 1 - Organize Resources / 5-Year Plan Review:  From the start, there is a focus on the resources needed for a successful mitigation planning process. The project plan, planning process, and time frames are established; stakeholders interested in participating in the plan update process are identified; methods for conducting public outreach are determined; and the existing plan is reviewed.  The 5-year plan review is essential in identifying features of the existing plan that work, those that don’t, and information that has the potential to change the plan. 

Step 2 - Update the Essential Elements of the Plan:  Next, the essential elements – the Risk Assessment, Capability Assessment, Mitigation Strategy, and Plan Maintenance sections are reviewed and updated appropriately. Sometimes, new information or tools are available that can improve the existing plan. Also, the plan is updated to reflect current community values, goals, and priorities. These updates are led by the local mitigation planning committee.

Step 3 - Draft the Plan: After the plan has been thoroughly reviewed and sections updated, a new draft plan is developed and reviewed by the mitigation planning committee. 

Step 4 - Adopt the Plan: After the mitigation plan has been drafted and opportunities for public review and comment have occurred, it is reviewed by the state and FEMA for compliance with the federal laws that govern mitigation planning.  Upon receipt of FEMA’s approval, communities and the county then adopt the plan.