The Hazards Planning Center advances practices that promote resilience by reducing the impact of natural hazards on communities and regions.

Hazards Planning Center

Every community is faced with natural and man-made hazards such as floods, wildfires, hurricanes, landslides, extreme temperatures, etc. Proper planning for hazards mitigation, post-disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation enables communities to be prepared for the 21st century.

Through original and applied research, APA's Hazards Planning Center identifies practices that protect communities from natural and man-made hazards and educates planners and allied professionals about those practices.

Our mission is to support the development of safe, resilient communities that can minimize their losses from disasters while efficiently utilizing their resources to recover in an improved manner.

Priority Areas

The Hazards Planning Center focuses its efforts into projects and policies that prioritize:

  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Post Disaster Recovery
  • Climate Change Adaptation

Learn more

Featured Projects

Resilient Transit Systems

In a subcontract with Louis Berger Co., which will produce a report that will be published by the Transportation Research Board, APA and partners will develop a resilient transit systems guide for local communities.

Naturally Resilient Communities

The Nature Conservancy will work in partnership with the APA and other organizations on developing a green infrastructure siting guide for local planners.

Improving Community Resilience

In this HUD-funded and NOAA-supervised project, team lead AECOM is partnering with APA, NACo, and ASFPM to develop models for integrating resilient hazard mitigation planning into local comprehensive plans.

Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Community Resilience

In this FEMA-funded project, APA and its partners are producing online models and tools for community visioning and scenario planning for post-disaster recovery.

Subdivision Design in Flood Hazard Areas

In this new FEMA-funded project, APA will completely revamp a 1997 PAS Report to incorporate new issues and knowledge that have developed over the past two decades.

Planning Information Exchange

In cooperation with ASFPM, APA will conduct a series of quarterly webinars for practitioners on hazard mitigation planning.

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation

APA is now completing a project with FEMA to produce a PAS report on Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery. This project is updating a 1998 edition of a historic PAS report. The report is scheduled for publication in December 2014. In addition, web-based tools, case studies, and others resources are provided online.

Advanced Disaster Recovery Strategies for Local Communities

APA and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center are developing a FEMA-certified course that will help individuals and organizations develop a strategic planning process for implementing pre-disaster recovery plans.

Digital Coast

APA became a partner in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Digital Coast, part of NOAA's Coastal Services Center, in July 2010. As a Digital Coast partner, APA serves as a conduit to our members for Digital Coast online resources for coastal planners and helps vet new products.

All projects

Webinar Series

In cooperation with ASFPM (Association of Floodplain Managers), APA will conduct a series of quarterly webinars for practitioners that will include tools, best practices, and strategies on hazard mitigation planning and its connections with recovery planning and preparedness.

All webinars

Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation

Over the past four years, the APA Hazards Planning Center worked under an agreement with FEMA to develop Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation (PAS 576). This updated manual offers a no-nonsense explanation of the benefits — and limitations — of planning for unpredictable events.

Download report

Purchase printed copy

Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation


APA Gets Agreements for Three New Projects

APA has funding agreements on three new projects:

A subcontract with The Nature Conservancy: Naturally Resilient Communities

The Nature Conservancy logo

A HUD-funded and NOAA-supervised project: Improving Community Resilience

HUD logo

A FEMA-funded project: Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Community Resilience

FEMA logo


Recovery News

APA's Recovery News blog reports on local and federal efforts to mitigate natural disasters and to cope with their impacts.

Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division

APA's Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division fosters professional communications on hazards and recovery, and helps build a knowledge base for use by planners.

Safe Growth Audits

The October 2009 issue of Zoning Practice examines the need for communities to practice safe growth audits to prevent future growth conflicts.

Read the issue

Work With Us

To learn how APA's Hazards Planning Center can help you or to discuss partnership opportunities, contact us at