Integrating Hazard Mitigation and Land Use Planning

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Basic Info

In 2008 a presidential disaster declaration included 20 Georgia counties and 87 Georgia cities that were impacted by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. To assist these counties and cities with their ability to prepare for future hazards and to be morle disaster resilient by limiting the interruption of the hazards on the local community, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) conducted a comparative analysis and assessment of the affected communities’ 5- year hazard mitigation plans and 20-year local land use plans (comprehensive plans). Applicable regional plans were also evaluated.

In 2012, DCA’s Office of Planning used awarded grant funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund (DREF) for activities and products intended to help local governments and regional commissions prepare for future disaster mitigation and resilience. These activities focused on disaster mitigation education and promoting consistency between local plan and regional plan documents for hazard mitigation and for land use. Tools and recommendations for achieving this consistency are provided here.

Results of the analyses for each impacted county are presented as a “Community Report”. Each report provides a framework for understanding the benefits of coordinating land use planning with  hazard mitigation planning. Communities directly assisted include the following:

Tools and Resources applicable statewide include:

  • Model Code – Hazard Mitigation Supplement: The Model Code provides Georgia's local governments a set of relatively simple tools, both old and new, they can use to address land use and development issues in their communities. Using DREF funds, DCA has produced this Hazard Mitigation Supplement to DCA's Model Code. It includes a variety of modifications to the basic Model Code, above, that enhance the basic document's focus on this issue.
  • Best Practices Guidebook: Community Disaster Resilience. The guidebook presents “Best Practices” recommendations drawn from the comparative analyses, from agency publications, and from experts in the fields of hazard mitigation and land use planning. These Best Practices can be incorporated into planning activities, but also include specific actions that can be taken to implement plans and policies.
  • Disaster Resilient Building Construction Appendices) - These are optional codes for residential and non-residential buildings.