Pennsylvania Hazard Mitigation Plan Updates for Counties and the Commonwealth

Location: Statewide, Pennsylvania

Michael Baker International provided comprehensive hazard mitigation services to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). Projects for PEMA include creating standardization procedures and tools to make hazard mitigation planning more efficient and effective. Tools have and continue to be tested to update county plans and to complete the 2010 and 2013 updates to the Pennsylvania State Standard All-Hazard Mitigation Plan (SSAHMP). Michael Baker created standards and standard operating guides (SOG) for the development of county hazard mitigation plans (HMPs) in Pennsylvania, in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidance and regulations. The project streamlined and simplified the hazard mitigation planning process, and ultimately reduces associated local time and cost. The new standards developed by Michael Baker reduce important, voluminous guidance materials into clear benchmarks and SOGs that enable local officials across the state to efficiently update and maintain community HMPs. Michael Baker’s tasks included updating 33 county HMPs throughout the state. The county HMP updates require significant community outreach efforts, as the project area encompassed over 1,250 local communities and many public and private stakeholders. Michael Baker also designed a web portal and a database that provides several critical functionalities that will facilitate the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) integration of the local HMPs into the state HMP. The database and web portal enable entities to create, update and export HMPs in addition to allowing PEMA to generate information about hazard mitigation projects from the HMPs and to evaluate the effectiveness of particular mitigation strategies. Michael Baker was also responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive training program for state and local officials on the use of the hazard mitigation planning tools.

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