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Hazard Mitigation

What is Hazard Mitigation and Hazard Mitigation Planning? Hazard Mitigation components

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 original 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.

The Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency (SOCPA) is leading a project to update the 2013 Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).


The plan update addresses new hazards of concern, including harmful algal bloom (HAB), invasive species, and drought, in addition to those identified in the original plan.


Click here to view the draft 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan update.


See the 2019 Plan Update page for more information and to learn how you can get involved.

How does the Plan Benefit Onondaga County?

The Hazard Mitigation Plan assists 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?

The Hazard Mitigation Plan will be reviewed and updated regularly, and we welcome your continued input into this living document.

During plan development and update processes, a series of formal public meetings are held to solicit public comment and to present the draft plan to residents and local officials. We also conduct a web-based survey for residents and stakeholders to inform the planning process.

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 your local municipality or SOCPA for more information.

More information on hazard mitigation is available through the Resources page.

Click here for more information or to be notified of any upcoming meetings.





2019 Plan Update

Visit here to view the

draft Plan Update



HMP Brochure

Hazard Mitigation Plan Brochure



2013 Onondaga County
Hazard Mitigation Plan



Hazard Mitigation
Assistance Grants
Summary Sheet





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