Drought Mitigation Planning in a Multi-Hazards Context

The American Planning Association, in partnership with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to engage experts and stakeholder organizations alike to assess communities’ needs for drought mitigation assistance and planning best practices.

The project will emphasize a multi-hazard approach to floodplain mitigation in the context of interrelated consequences of drought, such as soil impermeability, wildfire, and mudslides.

Though many may think of drought and flood risks as mutually exclusive, they are not. Drought conditions can exacerbate flood susceptibility, particularly when heavy rainfall occurs. Thus, in communities across the U.S, needs for integrative approaches to drought and flood mitigation continue to influence comprehensive plans, capital improvement projects, and regulation.

The project includes the following goals:

  1. APA will lead the initiative in the research of tools, funding agencies, government programs, and private as well as nonprofit organizations that pertain to drought mitigation. This task will also include a survey of local practitioner needs for funding, technical assistance, and guidance. The result will be an online bibliography of relevant drought resources as well as a publication of the practitioner survey.
  2. Together, APA and NDMC will host a drought planning summit involving experts and leaders of stakeholder organizations, project-partner staff, and FEMA representatives. The goal of the summit will be to lead participants in a discussion that will result in the explication of guiding principles for the drought mitigation project, the definition of a user audience and its needs, and the identification of volunteers for a project advisory committee.
  3. APA and NDMC will produce a high-quality, comprehensive drought mitigation guidebook complete with supplemental online resources. The guidebook will employ a multi-hazard focus and reference a variety of tools, resources, and state and federal programs useful to local communities as they address drought needs.
  4. Jointly, APA and NDMC will offer a training event and presentation of findings at the APA National Planning Conference in San Francisco in April 2019.
  5. APA and NDMC will produce a series of informative drought mitigation webinars with a multi-hazard theme.