Hazard mitigation is any cost-effective and sustained action taken to reduce the long-term risk to human life, property, and infrastructure from hazards.
While mitigation activities can and should be taken before a disaster occurs, hazard mitigation is essential. Often after disasters, repairs and reconstruction are completed in such a way as to simply restore damaged property to pre-disaster conditions. The implementation of such hazard mitigation actions leads to building stronger, safer and smarter.
Hazard mitigation is the first step in the disaster cycle and is followed by preparedness, response, and recovery. Although it is often overlooked, hazard mitigation is an important step: it focuses on risk reduction to break this expensive cycle of repetitive loss. This is changing. New York City has fundamentally shifted towards mitigation, the critical step that can break this cycle and reduce losses after a disaster. It is estimated that for every $1 dollar invested in hazard mitigation, an average of $6 is saved in the long-term.
New York City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies the hazards that pose a risk to the city and actions City agencies are taking to reduce the impacts of these hazards.
To be eligible for FEMA post-disaster mitigation funding, including Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding, hazard mitigation plans must be updated every five years. In March 2009, NYC Emergency Management completed the first New York City Hazard Mitigation Plan to help make the city more resilient to hazards. Five years later, NYCEM partnered with the Department of City Planning and the he Mayor’s Office of Resiliency to create the 2014 NYC Hazard Mitigation Plan update. Following the adoption of the 2014 HMP, NYCEM released annual updates in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Click on the following links to view previous plans and updates:
In 2019, NYCEM released the five-year hazard mitigation plan update as a website. New York City is the first City in the region to create a web-based FEMA-mandated hazard mitigation plan, which represents the City’s plan for assessing hazards that pose a risk to its people and infrastructure, and strategies for reducing the impacts of emergency events.
The website includes:
Hazards included in the plan are: coastal erosion, coastal storms, disease outbreaks, drought, earthquakes, extreme temperatures, flooding, thunderstorms, tornadoes, windstorms, wildfire, winter storms, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN), cyber threats, and infrastructure failures.
Part of the plan development process includes identifying what initiatives — mitigation actions — the City is taking (existing) or could take (potential) to minimize the effects of a significant event on New York City's population, economy, property, building stock, and infrastructure.
The comprehensive list of mitigation actions and interactive mitigation strategy map can be found under the all hazards tab, titled mitigation strategy.
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) was signed into law in 1988 and provides the authority for federal disaster assistance activities, including preparedness and mitigation along with assistance for response and recovery.
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) amended the Stafford Act to reinforce the importance mitigation planning and emphasize planning for disasters before they occur. DMA 2000 established provisions and requirements for state, local, and Indian Tribal entities to closely coordinate mitigation planning and implementation efforts. States and communities must have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan to be eligible to apply for and receive FEMA hazard mitigation funds.
The NYC's Risk Landscape: A Guide to Hazard Mitigation is based on the 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan website and focuses on the hazards that pose a risk to New York City and includes information on how the City approaches risk management in a user-friendly and accessible format.
Learn how to protect your property from hazards with the Ready New York: Reduce Your Risk guide.
The Interim Flood Protection Measures program is designed to protect critical facilities, infrastructure, and low-lying areas in New York City from flooding caused by a hurricane.