State Hazard Mitigation Plans & Climate Change: Rating the States 2019 Update

Dena P. Adler and Emma Gosliner
Created: 9/12/2019 -


Between 1980-2019, the U.S. endured 250 climate and weather disasters that each cost more than $1 billion, resulting in a total cost exceeding $1.7 trillion. Climate change contributes to a variety of hazards including extreme precipitation, drought, sea level rise, storm surge, heat waves, and flooding, and this effect will worsen over time. While the onset of natural disasters may be unavoidable, forgoing the opportunity to plan for changing conditions and increasing risks puts citizens in the path of preventable danger. Further investing in pre-disaster preparation or other resilience-building activities can save considerable money down the road—and many lives.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides technical assistance to states to develop State Hazard Mitigation Plans (SHMPs) which serve as “blueprints” for state efforts to prepare for natural and man-made hazards. 

This report analyzes SHMPs issued since 2014 and assesses their compliance with the 2016 FEMA Climate Guidance. The report also ranks the SHMPs into 5 categories, with “1” indicating SHMPs that did not recognize climate change or did so inaccurately and “5” indicating plans with extensive consideration of how climate change will affect hazards, should be integrated across agencies and planning documents, and should be mitigated through adaptation actions. 


Published On


Adaptation Phase
National / Federal
Sector Addressed
Disaster Risk Management
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Develop disaster preparedness plans and policies
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations
North America
United States