BOLDplanning, a division of Agility Recovery, and Marshall County, Indiana, recently moved forward with their collaborative efforts to update the county’s existing Hazard Mitigation Plan, or HMP, last updated in 2018.

The work began with a kickoff planning workshop, which was held in late October 2022. In attendance were representatives from the county and participating jurisdictions, along with emergency managers from neighboring St. Joseph County. The topics covered included an overview of hazard mitigation planning, a review of potential grant funding opportunities for jurisdictions with an approved HMP, a review of identified hazards, and a discussion of the project timeline and requirements. 

HMPs, as routinely described by FEMA, are “key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction.” In fact, according to a 2018 National Institute of Building Sciences analysis, natural hazard mitigation saves $6 on average for every $1 spent on federal mitigation grants.  

The work to update Marshall County’s HMP is now well underway, with previous occurrences of all identified hazards being studied and the status of prior mitigation projects being determined. Plan stakeholders, including the public, will have the opportunity to review the plan before its submission to the State of Indiana and FEMA.  

The goal of BOLDplanning and, of course, Marshall County is to receive FEMA approval before the existing plan’s expiration. FEMA requires HMPs to be updated every five years if state, local, tribal, and territorial governments are to remain eligible for certain types of pre- and post-disaster mitigation funding.  

Marshall County is the 24th largest county in Indiana (by total area, 443.6 square miles). According to the U.S. Decennial Census (2020), it ha