Drought Mitigation Planning in a Multi-Hazards Context

Project Overview

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.

On Demand Webinars

Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Drought and Cascading Impacts

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 1 p.m. CT

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In cooperation with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the American Planning Association presents the third in a series of webinars on the subject of drought mitigation planning in a multi-hazard context.

This webinar features a discussion by Shannon Burke, APA’s Hazards Planning Manager, and Anne Miller, AICP, Director of the Colorado Resiliency Office (CRO) in the Department of Local Affairs. Participants will learn about:

  • Drought and the interrelatedness of hazards
  • How planners can address drought using planning tools
  • State and local efforts to integrate resilience and hazard mitigation principles into plans, codes, and standards related to land use and the built environment

Federal Drought Mitigation Initiatives, Tools, and Resources to Reduce Risk

September 18, 2019

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You will be prompted to enter your name and email address on the page, then click "Register" to view the free webinar recording.

In cooperation with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the American Planning Association presents the second in a series of webinars on the subject of drought mitigation planning in a multi-hazard context.

This webinar features a discussion by Darion Mayhorn, Drought Coordinator, Bureau of Reclamation, and Nicole LaRosa, Senior Policy Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Policy Branch. Shannon Burke, APA’s Hazards Planning Manager, moderates as participants learn about:

  • Using planning tools to address drought impacts in a multi-hazard context
  • Funding and technical resources that can help communities implement mitigation actions to reduce risk to drought and cascading impacts
  • Drought Contingency Planning to address drought and water resources
  • Methods to mitigate drought and incorporate green infrastructure in Hazard Mitigation Assistance Projects

Planning for Drought and Cascading Hazards

August 15, 2019

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Download the slides (pdf)

View the webinar recording
You will be prompted to enter your name and email address on the page, then click "Register" to view the free webinar recording.

In cooperation with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the American Planning Association presents the first in a series of webinars on the subject of drought mitigation planning in a multi-hazard context.

This webinar features discussions from Cody Knutson, research professor and drought planning coordinator at the National Drought Mitigation Center, and Jeff Brislawn, CFM, hazard mitigation and emergency management consultant with Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions. Joe DeAngelis, AICP, senior research associate with the American Planning Association will moderate as participants learn about:

  • Specific challenges and opportunities in planning for drought and cascading natural hazards
  • Practical approaches to assessing local and regional drought vulnerability
  • Methods for integrating drought and drought-related impacts into multi-hazard mitigation planning
  • Resources and tools that can help planners and floodplain managers plan for drought in a multi-hazards context

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 and deliverables:

  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. This deliverable has been completed, and both the annotated bibliography of primary research, tools, and guidance and the planning practitioner survey report are now available.
  2. In July 2018, APA and NDMC co-hosted a drought planning summit involving experts and leaders of stakeholder organizations, project-partner staff, and FEMA representatives. Participants were led in discussions and activities that resulted 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.

Other Drought and Planning Resources

Planning and Drought


PAS Report 574

Planning and Drought helps planners, public agencies, and local officials see the crisis on the horizon and get ready to meet it. This resourceful guide connects the dots between drought and land-use planning, water management, public health, and the local economy.

Developed in partnership with the University of Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center and the National Integrated Drought Information System, this 2013 Planning Advisory Service report includes checklists and case studies, and discusses the pros and cons of various approaches to drought planning.