Delaware Adopts Updated 2023 to 2028 Hazard Mitigation Plan to Make State Stronger Against Disasters
A five-year plan that allows federal funds to be directed to Delaware to protect people, their property, and the environment has been approved. Delaware’s 2023-2028 Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) outlines risks and vulnerabilities faced by Delawareans, but also offers ideas and recommendations for protecting and improving resilience in the state. By developing and adopting the State Hazard Mitigation Plan, Delaware communities are now eligible to receive certain types of FEMA assistance, such as Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants, Public Assistance funds, and High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) funding.
Additional Information from FEMA:
The HMP was developed by the State Hazard Mitigation Council. The Council includes staff from state agencies, the University of Delaware, and representatives from Delaware counties and municipalities.
One new goal in the HMP is evaluating all hazards for potential impacts to vulnerable populations.
The HMP outlines twelve natural hazards that could impact the state of Delaware within the next five years. These hazards were identified through an evaluation of historical weather events and data from several sources that look at existing conditions and projections for future climate conditions and growth in the state. The plan also takes into consideration underserved and vulnerable populations in Delaware and discusses how climate change will exacerbate social vulnerabilities. The natural hazards identified include:
- Coastal Erosion
- Coastal Flooding
- Dam/Levee Failure Flooding
- Extreme Temperatures
- Inland Flooding
- Local Earth Movement
- Severe Thunderstorms & Tornadoes
- Severe Winter Weather
- Tropical Cyclones
- Wildfire and Smoldering Fires
Mitigating risk continues to be a priority for Delaware
In addition to considering future climate conditions, the hazard mitigation plan assess risks to Delaware’s economy, the natural environment, the built environment and most importantly, the people who live, work, and visit the state. The plan examines risk to hospitals, water treatment facilities, bridges, schools, power stations, and other critical facilities that keep Delaware going. In addition to critical facilities, the plan evaluates vulnerabilities to the cultural and historic resources in the state.
Putting the plan into action
Delaware’s Hazard Mitigation Plan does not just include hazards and vulnerabilities – it outlines solutions to lessen the impact from a natural hazard or disaster. The mitigation strategy section of the Plan identifies specific projects and funding opportunities for cities, counties, and the state to make Delaware more resilient and improve the economic, social, and environmental health of the state.
Some high-priority projects outlined in the mitigation strategy include:
- Protect and secure critical infrastructure and community lifelines to mitigate impacts from natural and manmade threats and make more resilient.
- Create and promote a statewide climate resiliency educational campaign.
- Assist local governments in developing strategies to protect wastewater treatment facilities from flooding.
- Designate shoreline zones for adaptation action.
- Fund projects to make hazardous dams safer.
- Enhance the power grid and energy infrastructure to accommodate the national push for electrical vehicles (EVs) and the possible charging surge during an evacuation.
- Identify sites that could serve as heating and cooling centers during extreme heat and cold events.
“I commend the state of Delaware and the many partners who came together to update this Hazard Mitigation Plan,” said FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “The holistic approach to evaluating risks and vulnerabilities puts the state on a path to a more resilient future and puts them in position to receive future funding from FEMA.”
“This State Hazard Mitigation Plan update is one of the many steps our State is taking to reduce risk across Delaware,” said Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director A.J. Schall. “We are proud of the work that our team and partner agencies put into this plan to ensure we continue working together to tackle these complex issues.”
State Hazard Mitigation Plans are updated every five years. This current plan will be due for an update in 2028.