Exploring Local Hazard Mitigation Plans

Exploring Local Hazard Mitigation Plans

In order to be eligible for pre- and post-disaster grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), each county must undergo a hazard mitigation planning process every five years. The purpose of the planning process is to reduce the impact of natural hazards to people, property, and infrastructure. In this lesson, students will explore their county Hazard Mitigation Plan to gain understanding about the hazard in their area (flooding, wildfire, or drought), including historic hazards, probability of future occurrences of the hazard, and vulnerability of the area to the hazard.

Context for Use

This lesson is part of the Community Resilience Expo, a culminating event for the HEART Force curriculum unit, where students will share what they’ve learned during the hazard lesson and the role-playing game.

There are several options to create a sequence of Expo lessons that works best for your classroom. Students can choose to communicate existing ideas that have been developed in local resilience planning efforts or to develop a new strategy or project.   

Potential Expo lessons to follow: 

Explore Local Plans image

Hazard Mitigation Plans from around Colorado

Goals Header
Learning Goals

  • Students will understand the vulnerability of their community to hazards [wildfire, flooding, or drought].
  • Students will be able to explain the mitigation actions being taken in their county to address the hazard [wildfire, flooding, or drought].

Teaching Materials

User note: To make an editable copy of the teaching materials in Google Drive, select File > “Make a copy”. This will make a copy for you to save to your own drive and edit as you see fit.


Activity 1 – Engage (15 minutes) Warm-Up Brainstorm

Students will collectively brainstorm what they know about the chosen natural hazard in their community.

Activity 2 – Explore (30 minutes) Text Structure Reading Comprehension Exercise

Individually, students will read a part of their county’s Hazard Mitigation Plan and take notes using a graphic organizer.

Activity 3 – Explain (5 minutes) Quiz Questions

Students create three multiple choice questions about the Hazard Mitigation Plan using their notes from the reading to be incorporated into a Kahoot for the following day.

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