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Hazard Mitigation


Tornado safe room at the Iowa State FairWhat is Hazard Mitigation?

Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. This definition distinguishes actions that have a long-term impact from those that are more closely associated with immediate preparedness, response, and recovery activities. Hazard mitigation is the only phase of emergency management specifically dedicated to breaking the cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. As such, states, territories, Indian tribal governments and communities are encouraged to take advantage of funding provided by Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs in both the pre-and post-disaster timeframes.


Hazard Mitigation Planning

Hazard mitigation falls into the general categories of preventive measures, property protection measures, public education and awareness, natural resource protection, emergency services, and structural projects (e.g., tornado safe rooms). Local and state governments must have approved hazard mitigation plans to be eligible for mitigation project funding.


Iowa's state hazard mitigation plan is an inter-agency plan developed by the state hazard mitigation team. The team performed a hazard analysis and risk assessment in which hazards that may affect the state were identified, profiled and ranked in order of priority. This information was then used to develop hazard mitigation goals, objectives, and measures to address the hazards.


Read our blog about tornado safe room funding, requirements, and planning.


FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plans are required in order to receive mitigation funding for state or local mitigation projects through the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant program.

The HMA program has three sub-programs: Pre-Disaster Mitigation program (PDM), Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). HMGP funding becomes available only when a Presidential Disaster Declaration is made. PDM and FMA funding are available annually. Click here to check if there are any current HMA grant program funds available.

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Historic Preservation: Found artifacts during recovery grant execution


Historic Preservation

In the course of executing your disaster recovery grant, you may encounter previously unknown cultural/historic artifacts. The Office of the State Archaeologist should be contacted if any archaeological deposits (artifacts) are exposed so that they can be investigated and the extent of the site determined.


Additionally, HSEMD and the State Historic Preservation Office must be informed to take proper action. In accordance with the Code of Iowa 263B, if human remains are unintentionally exposed, you must cease work immediately, secure the area, and contact local law enforcement and/or the county medical examiner. If the remains are determined to be ancient (greater than 150 years old), the Office of the State Archaeologist’s Bioarchaeology Program must also be notified.


Office of the State Archaeologist

(319) 384-0732

Bioarchaeology Program
Office of the State Archaeologist

(319) 384-0740

Recovery Division

Iowa Homeland Security
& Emergency Management

(515) 725-3231

Doug Jones
State Historic Preservation Office

(515) 281-4358



HUD - National Disaster Resilience Competition - IOWA RECEIVES $96.9M


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation (Rockefeller), is providing significant resources and support to communities to help them become more resilient. The National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) is a two-phase process that will competitively award nearly $1 billion in HUD Disaster Recovery funds to eligible communities. The competition will help communities recover from prior disasters and improve their ability to withstand and recover more quickly from future disasters, hazards, and shocks. All states with counties that experienced a Presidentially-declared major disaster in 2011, 2012, or 2013 were eligible to apply. This included 48 of 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Seventeen local governments were also eligible because they had qualifying funding.


The State of Iowa submitted its Phase 1 application to HUD on March 23, 2015.


Click here to view a fact sheet about the competition.


Phase 2 Application

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in cooperation with several other partners, submitted its final application for HUD funding in October 2015.


FINAL Application documents


On Thursday, Jan. 21, HUD announced the awards for the National Disaster Resilience Competition. The State of Iowa received $96.9 million - almost 10 percent of the total amount awarded nationwide and the fourth largest award. Thirteen states and cities were awarded funding. The project in Iowa has been dubbed the "Iowa Watershed Approach."


Iowa Watershed Approach Meetings




Hazard Mitigation Program Contacts:

Dan Schmitz

Deputy State Hazard Mitigation Officer

(515) 725-9369

Linda Roose

Planning & Safe Rooms

(515) 725-9403

Dusty Pogones

Acquisitions ("Buyouts") & Relocations

(515) 725-9384

Jim Berg

Electric Utilities & Infrastructure

(515) 725-9352

Aimee Bartlett

State Hazard Mitigation Program Supervisor




Go to Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grant Program page.