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Hazard Mitigation

What is Hazard Mitigation and Hazard Mitigation Planning?

Hazard mitigation is any action taken to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impacts of disasters (natural, technological and man-made).  It is often considered the first of the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.  Hazard mitigation is an important step in creating a more resilient community. 

Hazard mitigation can take many forms, including capital projects, policies, and education.  Proactive mitigation leads to more cost-effective projects.  By contrast, reactive mitigation tends to lead to severe damage repair and often more costly fixes; it simply costs too much to address the effects of disasters only after they happen.  A surprising amount of damage can be prevented if we can anticipate where and how disasters occur, and take steps to prevent those damages.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) is federal legislation that requires state and local governments to prepare local plans that will evaluate natural hazards and the strategies to mitigate such hazards. 

Hazard Mitigation in Onondaga County

Through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), SOCPA has led the creation of a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for the County and its participating municipalities. 

The current 2013 Onondaga County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies natural hazards of concern in our region, assesses our specific vulnerabilities to those hazards, and seeks to identify projects and measures that may reduce damages from future hazards. 

The plan is multi-jurisdictional, and serves as the plan for Onondaga County government, as well as over 30 towns, villages and public authorities within Onondaga County who have opted to participate in this cooperative planning effort.  Each participating municipal entity has its own chapter, or annex, as part of the overall plan. 

Not surprisingly, the plan has deemed that the primary hazard in Onondaga County is flooding, but other potential hazards of concern to Onondaga County include severe storms, severe winter storms, landslides and earthquakes.  The study focuses on buildings, infrastructure and other critical facilities identified by municipalities, participants and stakeholders.

Click here to view the Onondaga County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

How does the Plan Benefit Onondaga County?

A Hazard Mitigation Plan will assist Onondaga County and its municipalities with the following:

An increased understanding of the natural hazards the County faces.

Development of more sustainable and disaster-resistant communities.

Eligibility for federal funds for pre-disaster mitigation planning before disaster strikes.

Potential financial savings to residents, including flood insurance premium reductions.

Reduced long-term impacts and damages to human health and structures, and reduced repair costs.

How Can I Participate?

During initial plan development, a series of formal public meetings were held to solicit public comment and to present the draft plan to residents and local officials. We also conducted a web-based resident survey to inform the planning process. Click here to view the survey results.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan will be reviewed and updated regularly, and we welcome your continued input into this living document. Have a concern about a local hazard, a project idea for the next Plan update, or want to know more about the process? Please feel free to Contact SOCPA or your local municipality for more information.

More Resources

Onondaga County Hazard Mitigation Plan

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning – Information and resources on hazard mitigation planning.

FEMA Map Service Center – View and print FEMA flood plain maps. (Note: Hard copy FEMA FIRM maps are also generally available for viewing at municipal offices, and at SOCPA.)

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants – Funding announcements and application materials for municipal hazard mitigation activities.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Summary Sheet

SOCPA Map Gallery – Variety of maps, including topographic maps, watersheds, and a county-wide floodplain map that overlays current and proposed FEMA flood plain boundaries.

Syracuse-Onondaga County GIS on the Web – Interactive GIS website that provides access to a variety of spatial data including aerial photography, parcels, flood plains, natural features, etc.

Click here for more information.




2018 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update has begun. 

Click here to be added to be notified of upcoming meetings.


2013 Onondaga County
Hazard Mitigation Plan


Hazard Mitigation
Assistance Grants
Summary Sheet


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