The Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) is the blueprint for reducing a community’s vulnerability to disasters and hazards. A HMP demonstrates a community’s commitment to reducing risks from identified hazards and serves as a guide for decision makers as they commit resources to minimize the effects of hazards. The countywide HMP for Westchester integrates existing county and municipal planning mechanisms, such as building and zoning regulations and long-range planning documents; and capabilities, such as emergency response and post-disaster recovery resources. The planning process, coordinated by the county office of Emergency Management, included conducting a thorough hazard vulnerability analysis, performing an assessment of local and regional capabilities, creating community disaster mitigation priorities, and developing feasible mitigation actions and projects for the county and each participating municipality.
Scope of the Plan
The "Whole Community Approach" seeks to involve the entire community in the disaster and hazard planning. The planning process involved representatives from the county and each participating local municipality, representatives from the private and non-profit sectors, other community partners and the general public.
Objectives of the Plan
The objectives of the Hazard Mitigation Plan are to:
- Offer the public opportunities, throughout the plan development and drafting process, to provide input.
- Conduct a thorough Hazard Vulnerability Assessment using the most recent disaster data and information.
- Formulate practical, achievable hazard mitigation goals, objectives and actions as they relate to reducing loss of life and property from both natural and human-caused hazards.
- Obtain state and federal approval of the HMP and make the County and its municipalities eligible for as many grant funding programs as possible.
Hazards Included in the Plan
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that a Hazard Mitigation Plan address the following natural hazards:
- Extreme Temperature
- Severe Storm
- Severe Winter Storm
In addition, the steering committee believed it important to include the following additional hazards:
- Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear (CBRN)
- Critical Infrastructure Failure
- Cyber Attack
- Disease Outbreak
Plan Implementation, Updates and Maintenance
FEMA requires that the HMP include a process to ensure that it will be a living document that is regularly reviewed, updated and maintained. The procedure, which outlines the responsible parties or agencies involved with monitoring, evaluating and updating the plan during its five-year cycle, includes annual meeting and progress reporting components. The Maintenance Procedures page describes this process in detail.
A grant from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services was used to retain a consultant to assist in preparing the plan. By participating in the planning process and formally adopting the completed HMP, the County and each municipality becomes eligible for grant funding from FEMA to help implement mitigation actions identified in the plan that reduce vulnerability and improve community resilience. Reducing vulnerability to disasters helps to break the cycle of “destruction-rebuilding-destruction” and ensures a sustainable future for the next generation. Following is a list of FEMA grant funding sources:
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
- Pre-disaster Mitigation-competitive program (PDM-C)
- Repetitive Flood Claims Program (RFC)
- Severe Repetitive Loss Program (SRL)
- Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA)
Westchester County's Hazard Mitigation Plan
A complete, single file of the final FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation plan is available. Alternatively, the document without the municipal annexes, and the pertinent sections of the plan for each Westchester municipality can be downloaded. The documents of the plan are listed and linked from the "Hazard Mitigation Download" page.