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 Hazard Mitigation Unit (HMU) is the lead coordinator to monitor and update the HMP. NYCEM maintains adequate mitigation planning staff to support HMU’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 HMU’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 HMU 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 HMU will compile and document all changes derived from the activities listed above and incorporate these changes into the HMP website.

The Hazard Mitigation Unit 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

The next step in updating the plan includes updating the NYC Risk Landscape, a document that serves as a physical communications vehicle for the general public. Scheduled for publication in Spring 2019, the update will consolidate the information from 2019 HMP website into a publicly available document.

After FEMA approves New York City’s 2019 HMP, the City will formally adopt the plan by executive order, as it has done in the past.

The Planning Team will also continue 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.

The Planning Team will also continue to work with NYCEM Community Preparedness to revise the Community Emergency Preparedness Toolkit to incorporate resiliency best practices and resources to empower and encourage local community organizations to invest in neighborhood mitigation. The revision process may include conducting additional interviews and workshops with community groups to gather feedback.

Once it is complete, the Planning Team will work with NYCEM’s Community Preparedness Unit to host training events to showcase new additions to the toolkit and guide organizations to implement its mitigation components. NYCEM will also promote this toolkit at Community Board meetings, Borough offices, and other community organization meetings.

Plan Maintenance Schedule

Time Frame Participants Outcome
April, 2019 Planning Team
  • Risk Landscape 2.0
  • Community Emergency Preparedness Toolkit (resiliency component)
First quarter 2020 Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners, Community Preparedness Unit, Planning Team
  • Reconvene Planning Partners to discuss progress on mitigation action and potential plan improvements and to evaluate plan’s effectiveness and application to existing planning mechanisms.
  • The Community Preparedness team will continue to hold Community Preparedness Boot Camp sessions with community organizations, which will include mitigation best practices.
First quarter 2021 Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners, Planning Team
  • Reconvene planning partners to discuss progress on mitigation actions and evaluate plan’s effectiveness and application to existing planning mechanisms.
Second quarter 2021 NYCEM
  • Apply for grant funding for plan update.
First quarter 2022 Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners
  • Reconvene Planning Partners to discuss mitigation action progress,  potential plan improvements, and to evaluate plan’s effectiveness and application to existing planning mechanisms.
Second quarter 2022 Hazard Mitigation Planning Partners, Planning Team
  • Reconvene Planning Team and begin plan update.
  • Coordinate monthly meetings with Steering Committee
  • Reconvene Planning Partners and schedule meetings with agencies, as required.
Fourth quarter 2023 NYS DHSES, Planning Team
  • Submit draft plan update to NYS DHSES for review and comments.
First quarter 2024 FEMA, Planning Team
  • Submit plan to FEMA for final approval.
First quarter 2024 New York City
  • Adopt the FEMA-approved HMP.