Every year, FEMA (in conjunction with the National Planning Association) recognizes October as National Community Planning Month. Its purpose is to identify long-term, equitable solutions that reduce risk from natural hazards; in other words, to plan today to be more resilient tomorrow. 

According to FEMA, “Planning is the best step state, local, tribal, and territorial governments can take to build a safer tomorrow. It helps us assess natural hazard risk in their communities and understand how it is changing. Planning also allows us to craft an equitable process that builds long-term, risk-informed plans.” 

This year, the agency is reminding those involved in emergency management and hazard mitigation planning of three important things to consider in their current (and future) planning efforts: equity, land use, and climate change data. While each is addressed in detail in the State and Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guides released earlier this year (April 19, 2022), the following information, taken verbatim from FEMA, sheds some initial light on them.