Breakout Session Information


Breakout Session A


Addressing Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) from the Community Perspective

Presenters: Annie Vest, NHMA, Rebecca Carroll, FEMA HQ

This session will provide updates on recent efforts to assess and improve the BCA policies, procedures, tools and criteria as they apply to development and evaluation of viable Hazard Mitigation Grants and other types of Project applications. NHMA and others will provide insights on potential areas of improvement and invite open discussion of how stakeholders can collaborate on practical recommendations for the BCA policies, tools and process going forward. Recent white papers and studies in this regard will be highlighted.



1. Participants will be better informed of current status of BCA policy, processes and tools

2. Participants will have the opportunity to provide their input/ideas for improving BCA development and applications for future project applications


Successful Outcome: Constructive BCA ideas and recommendations are discussed that can lead to further development by interested stakeholders working with NHMA and others post-workshop





Developing Operational Community Hazard Mitigation Plans

Presenters: Tom Hughes, NHMA/PEMA, Crissy Caggiano, (Tentative)

This session will discuss the use of FEMA approved community Hazard Mitigation Plans and moving mitigation actions into viable mitigation projects, whether it be a FEMA funding stream or others. Session will discuss the use of Mitigation Hazard Mitigation Plans, Mapping products to include Discovery Reports, National Risk Index (NRI), Building Code Adoption Tracker (BCAT) and other FEMA resources.



1. Attendees will become familiar with resources to use in developing mitigation plans

2. Attendees will have a working knowledge of FEMA Resources to provide documentation resources and tools to assist with creating a narrative and support documentation for the required FEMA Scope of Work

Successful Outcome: Session will provide at least one methodology on engaging locals on moving the Hazard Mitigation Plan from a resource document to a mitigation project, whether it be with FEMA or with another funding stream.


Breakout Session B

Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction Plans: Developing Actionable Objectives and Strategies, Measurable Outcomes, CRS Points, and building code/local zoning and ordinance considerations/integration.

Presenters: Jack Heide, FEMA Region II, Caroline Cunningham, Stantec, Inc., Erin Capps, AtkinsGlobal, Mary Baker, JEO


This session will discuss the use of the new FEMA “Guides to Expanding Mitigation” booklets which are designed to highlight innovate and emerging partnerships for mitigation and provide communities better ways to support hazard mitigation and planning across additional sectors such as energy, municipal financing, and arts and cultural resources. Discussion will also highlight the use of measurable outcomes, Community Rating System planning points, future conditions considerations, and aligning projects to an array of funding streams to promote implementable plans.


1. Attendees will learn about innovation case studies for mitigation planning including new guidance, partnerships, and measurable outcomes;

2. Attendees will learn to leverage additional funding sources and maximize mitigation dollars; and

3. Attendees will be excited to try these ideas at home to up your planning game!


Successful Outcome: At the conclusion of this session, attendees will have a greater understand of mitigation planning trends in partnerships, measurable outcomes, and successful implementation strategies to develop actionable plans and projects for their communities.


Developing a Practical Community Resilience Initiative: Tools, Strategies, and the Potential Role of Land/Sea Grant and Public Universities

Presenters: Professor David Vaughn, Clemson University; Ed Hecker, NHMA Operations Lead, Doug Bellomo, P.E., AECOM

Completely avoiding risks associated with natural hazards is impossible. For those incidents that cannot be prevented or avoided, one of the most widely used standards, NFPA 1600, states that you should

“develop and implement a mitigation strategy that includes measures to be taken to limit or control the consequences, extent, and severity of an incident that cannot be prevented.” Low resourced communities need to develop support strategies that can leverage local NGOs, academia, the private sector, and federal/state agencies by creating an ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders.


The potential to prevent, mitigate, and respond to all risks should be evaluated through a life cycle, comprehensive approach by communities that links to their vision for the future and recovery time objectives (RTO). This session will discuss practical mitigation actions to reduce immediate impacts from an event are practical solutions in in most cases. Operations are and will be impacted to some extent despite the community’s best mitigation efforts. Therefore, preparedness and planning for recovery are necessary to ensure operations are restored within the RTO.



1. Attendees will become familiar with how underserved communities can establish a process that leverages untapped resources that are available and within their community, and access technical assistance when needed to help address some of the challenges they will face when creating lifecycle Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (DR3) partnerships.

2. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how standards can be leveraged to understand critical assets in their communities, how to assess the hazards they face, the assets that may be vulnerable, and steps that can be taken to mitigate those risks.


Successful Outcome: At the conclusion of this session, attendees will better understand the value of completing a risk assessment that enables creating an operational Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP), how communities can leverage a variety of resources to reduce disaster risk using a life cycle approach, and build economic, social and environmental resilience.