HOW WILL NEW YORK CITY’S PLAN BE MAINTAINED OVER THE LONG TERM?
To realize the full value of a hazard mitigation process, the following set of conditions must be satisfied:
- Risk management strategies must be integrated into the agendas, plans, and operating and capital budgets of all parties responsible for them.
- An assessment of the effectiveness of strategies must occur.
- An assessment of changing conditions must occur – for example, fluctuations in available funding; new laws, regulations, and policies; significant new study findings; and impacts of major hazard events.
- Strategies must be modified as needed.
A proactive approach informed by continuous learning drives the hazard mitigation process. In the past, hazard mitigation was reactive – undertaken only in response to a recent disaster. Today, the aim is to prospectively fashion strategies to minimize the impact or to break cycles of repeated destruction. Following a hazard event, each recovery phase becomes an opportunity to learn and improve. The cyclic nature of hazard mitigation means that the work is never done, because as the nature of risk evolves, so do measures to manage them.
The following process ensures that the Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) remains an effective and relevant document:
- Monitoring mitigations actions in the HMP.
- Evaluating the HMP.
- Updating the HMP.
- Incorporating hazard mitigation into existing planning mechanisms.
- Continuing to involve the public.
This process establishes the method and schedule to monitor, evaluate, and revise the HMP during the five-year period leading to the release of an updated HMP in 2024, and specifies how New York City will maintain and encourage community involvement in the mitigation planning and HMP development process.
Monitoring of Mitigation Actions in the HMP
The NYCEM’s Risk and Recovery Unit (RRU) is the lead coordinator to monitor and update the HMP. NYCEM maintains adequate mitigation planning staff to support RRU’s work on the HMP.
NYCEM decided to move toward publishing a web-based HMP versus a document-based format to reflect the dynamic process New York City is using to update its hazard-mitigation actions and to keep its list of expanding city-wide resiliency initiatives current. NYCEM is continuously focused on hazard risk and mitigation. The landscape of information and initiatives is always changing and a web-based approach ensures the HMP is always relevant.
In the first four years of the five-year (2019 to 2023) HMP planning cycle, the RRU’s activities will include:
- Annually collecting reports and project studies from agencies involved in implementing mitigation projects or activities identified in the Mitigation Strategy section of the HMP.
- Maintaining and updating the mitigation action tables annually (each April from 2019 through 2023).
- Participating in resiliency- and mitigation-related initiatives.
- Conducting site visits and obtaining reports of completed or initiated mitigation actions to incorporate into the next plan revision, as needed.
- Researching and documenting new disaster information pertaining to New York City and incorporating it into a revised Risk Assessment section, as needed.
- Organizing annual meetings with Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners to discuss relevant hazard mitigation issues, provide status updates, and discuss grant opportunities.
- Communicating and coordinating with the Planning Team in an ongoing basis.
- Coordinating, compiling, and disseminating hazard mitigation funding information and applications.
- Promoting public awareness of and sharing information about hazard mitigation to forge relationships among local, regional, national, and international partners.
In December 2022, the RRU will reconvene the Planning Team and start leading a more intensive planning effort to ensure that New York City completes an updated HMP by 2024. The RRU will compile and document all changes derived from the activities listed above and incorporate these changes into the HMP website.
The RRU will work closely with the Mayor’s Office to ensure that the maintenance cycle of the HMP is carried out in coordination with OneNYC, New York City’s long-term resiliency plan that is updated every four years.
Evaluating the HMP
Based upon scheduled meetings and reviewing content with its Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners, NYCEM will evaluate the HMP website on a quarterly basis to determine the effectiveness of its projects, programs, and policies.
Annual meetings with Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners will review any changes in City resources that may influence plan implementation, such as funding or changes in local, state, or federal policy. These efforts, including many resiliency-focused efforts, may introduce partners to planning and grant opportunities that directly relate to components of the HMP.
The Planning Team will work with the Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners to review all components of the plan and determine whether new data requires portions to be updated or modified.
The Planning Team will evaluate the content of the HMP by asking the following questions:
- How are other citywide initiatives able to complement and support the mitigation strategy?
- Are the mitigation actions effective?
- Have funding opportunities influenced the description or analysis of the mitigation actions?
- Are there any changes in land development that affect mitigation priorities?
- Are the goals, objectives, and mitigation actions still relevant in light of any changes in City, state, or federal regulations or policies?
- Has any new data emerged that would alter conclusions in the Risk Assessment portion of the HMP?
Updating the Hazard Mitigation Guide
In the Spring of 2019, NYCEM updated and released the NYC Risk Landscape: A Guide to Hazard Mitigation, a document that serves as a physical communications vehicle for the general public. This update consolidates the information from 2019 HMP website into a publicly available document.
After FEMA approved New York City’s 2019 HMP, the City formally adopted the plan by executive order, as it has done in the past.
In addition, the Planning Team continues to enhance the public-facing Hazard History and Consequence tool by updating weather data and collecting additional consequences of severe weather events from New York City agencies.
The 2019 HMP website enables the Planning Team to publish a dynamic program that promotes hazard awareness and resiliency investments in the city, instead of producing a large, unwieldy document that can be difficult to navigate.
The Planning Team will update the HMP over the next five years in accordance with FEMA requirements. At the end of this planning cycle, the Planning Team will submit the updated 2024 HMP for review to the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and to FEMA.
Incorporating Hazard Mitigation into Existing Planning Mechanisms
As part of the local Capability Assessment, the Planning Team and Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners identified current plans, programs, policies/ordinances, and studies/reports to augment or support mitigation planning.
The Planning Team will convene annual meetings with Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners to ensure that New York City integrates hazard mitigation into its future planning activities.
Following the 2019 HMP approval and adoption, the Planning Team will work to incorporate the HMP into New York City’s planning mechanisms wherever applicable and appropriate. This work can include:
- Updating work plans, policies, or procedures to include hazard mitigation concepts.
- Establishing mitigation funding within capital and operational budgets.
- Developing guidance on risk-reduction techniques.
- Issuing plans, policies, regulations, or other directives to carry out mitigation actions.
- Adding hazard mitigation elements to redevelopment and capital plans.
Continued Public Involvement
New York City is dedicated to continued public involvement in hazard mitigation planning and in the HMP review process. During all phases of plan maintenance, the public will have the opportunity to comment and provide feedback.
One of the benefits of the web-based HMP is that people will have an opportunity to email comments about the plan at any time. The Planning Team will compile all comments that it receives and present them at the annual Hazard Mitigation Planning Partner meeting, where participants consider whether they should be incorporated into the next HMP revision.
In the Summer of 2019, the Planning Team in coordination with the NYCEM Community Preparedness revised the Community Emergency Preparedness Toolkit to incorporate resiliency best practices and resources to empower and encourage local community organizations to invest in neighborhood mitigation.
In the Fall of 2020, the Planning Team launched a Community Risk Assessment Dashboard that allows users to assess the risk of hazards occurring in their community and mitigation actions to reduce risk. Following the launch, the team presented the tool at multiple National Preparedness Events hosted by the Community Preparedness Bureau in addition to a Unity In Community event in October. Over a hundred participants representing multiple community organizations attended these events.
Plan Maintenance Schedule
|May, 2019||Planning Team||
|Third quarter 2020||Community Preparedness Unit, Planning Team||
|Third quarter 2021||Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners, Planning Team||
|Fourth quarter 2021||NYCEM||
|Third quarter 2022||Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners||
|Fourth quarter 2022||Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners, Planning Team||
|Fourth quarter 2023||NYS DHSES, Planning Team||
|First quarter 2024||FEMA, Planning Team||
|First quarter 2024||New York City||