Every year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with the National Planning Association (NPA), observes October as National Community Planning Month. Its purpose is to identify long-term, equitable solutions that reduce risk from natural hazards such as wildfires, droughts, and floods. For 2023, FEMA is highlighting hazard mitigation planning for tribal communities.  

Tribal governments are an important and unique member of the family of American governments. They, as explained by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), provide multiple programs and services, including social programs, first responder services, education, workforce development, and energy and land management. They also build and maintain a variety of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and public buildings. Such governmental programs, services, and infrastructure are best protected through hazard mitigation.  

Hazard mitigation planning is key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage from natural disasters. In fact, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) now estimates that on a national average, natural hazard mitigation saves $4-$11 in avoided future losses for each $1 invested. This number is up from an estimated $6 from previous yea