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Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Bergen HMP Cover

Welcome to the County of Bergen’s Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) website.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in accordance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (44 CFR parts 201 & 206) mandated that all jurisdictions (municipalities and counties) develop comprehensive natural hazard mitigation plans by November 01, 2004. Jurisdictions that completed a plan are eligible for Hazard Mitigation Grant funding following a Presidential declared disaster.

The mitigation plan identifies risk and hazards in communities and strategies to lessen the impact of them. Mitigation activities are those that protect life and property and lessen funding for repetitive losses during a disaster. BCOEM (Bergen County Office of Emergency Management) proposed to FEMA and NJOEM (New Jersey Office of Emergency Management) that a County-wide plan would be better for Bergen (rather than 70 individual plans). The State and municipalities agreed. Other counties have since adopted this format.

The goal of the HMP update is to save lives and protect property through the reduction of hazard vulnerability.  During the course of this planning project, county and local leaders and the participating communities will work together to identify risks, assess capabilities, and formulate a strategy to reduce disaster vulnerability.

On August 7, 2020 FEMA approved the County of Bergen’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan is due for re-certification in 2025.

To download a copy of the County of Bergen’s approved 2020 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, please click here or go to: 

For more information on FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, please click here or go to:

ABOUT

WHAT IS HAZARD MITIGATION?

Natural hazards have the potential to cause property loss, loss of life, economic hardship, and threats to public health and safety. While an important aspect of emergency management deals with disaster recovery – those actions that a community must take to repair damages and make itself whole in the wake of a natural disaster – an equally important aspect of emergency management involves hazard mitigation.

Hazard mitigation actions are efforts taken before a disaster happens to lessen the impact that future disasters of that type will have on people and property in the community. They are things you do today to be more protected in the future. Hazard mitigation actions taken in advance of a hazard event are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. With careful selection, hazard mitigation actions can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing the risk of loss and help create a more disaster-resistant and sustainable community.

WHAT IS A HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN?

A Hazard Mitigation Plan is a well-organized and well-documented evaluation of the hazards that a jurisdiction is susceptible to, and the extent to which these events will occur. Hazard Mitigation Plans identify an area’s vulnerability to the effects of the natural and man-made hazards, as well as the goals, objectives, and actions required for minimizing future loss of life, injury, property damage, and economic disruption as a result of hazard events.

PURPOSE AND NEED FOR THE PLAN

Hazard mitigation plans are developed BEFORE a disaster strikes. The plans identify community policies, actions, and tools for long-term implementation to reduce risk and potential for future losses. Adopted, implemented and maintained on an ongoing basis, these plans will gradually, but steadily, lessen the impacts associated with hazard events in the County of Bergen.

Under the federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000), as of November 1, 2004 communities that do not have a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan in place are no longer eligible for FEMA project grant monies under long standing programs such as the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program (PDM) and newer grant programs such as the Severe Repetitive Loss Grant Program (SRL).

OUTCOMES: IDENTIFYING MITIGATION PROJECTS AND OTHER BENEFITS

A major focus of this Hazard Mitigation Plan will be to identify effective mitigation projects and realistic implementation strategies, including identifying potential funding streams. This includes projects that may be eligible for federal funding through FEMA grants or other federal sources, as well as to projects that may not qualify for federal funding but are still important to a community. This planning process will help lay the groundwork for implementation of both federally fundable and non-federally fundable mitigation projects.

In addition to identifying effective mitigation projects, a Hazard Mitigation Plan will also assist municipalities of the County of Bergen in the following ways:

  • Increased understanding of natural and man-made hazards and risk the county faces;
  • Eligibility for federal funds for pre-disaster mitigation planning under DMA 2000;
  • Developing partnerships that support planning and mitigation efforts and may offer potential financial savings, including: reduced flood insurance premiums, broader resources for funding of mitigation projects, and enhanced benefit-cost ratios for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects;
  • Enhanced coordination of hazard mitigation with comprehensive planning and zoning;
  • Development of more sustainable and disaster-resistant communities; and
  • Reduced long-term impacts and damages to human health and structures, and reduced repair costs.

PARTICIPATION

Jurisdictions located within the County of Bergen who wish to be recognized by FEMA as being compliant with the federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) must either: (a) participate with the County of Bergen in the multi-jurisdictional plan development process and formally adopt the final plan, or (b) prepare their own hazard mitigation plan.

Elected and appointed government officials, business leaders, volunteers of non-profit organizations, citizens, and other stakeholders have been invited to participate in the coordinated multi-jurisdictional plan development process. Citizens of the County of Bergen have the opportunity to participate by attendance at the various public meetings. The dates of these meeting will be posted on this website.

Active participation in the process is the only way a jurisdiction can be seen in FEMA's eyes as a 'participating jurisdiction' that has met the requirements of DMA 2000 and is therefore eligible to apply for Federal funds for hazard mitigation projects. Participation includes attending meetings, providing feedback and reaching out to the public and other key stakeholders in the community, and adopting the final plan.

PROCESS OVERVIEW

The hazard mitigation planning processes is conducted over the course of a five year cycle. Key steps of the process include:

  • Research a full range of natural and man-made hazards.
  • Identify the most significant hazards (the ones that present the most risk to the county); these will be the focus of the plan.
  • Identify the location and extent of hazard areas.
  • Identify assets located within hazard areas.
  • Characterize existing and potential future assets at risk by analyzing land uses and development trends.
  • Assess vulnerabilities to the identified hazards.
  • Identify local, state, and Federal capabilities that support hazard mitigation.
  • Develop a mitigation strategy by evaluating and prioritizing goals, objectives, and hazard mitigation actions.
  • Adopt the plan.
  • Implement the Plan and monitor its progress.

While natural disasters cannot be prevented from occurring, the continued implementation of our hazard mitigation plan over the long-term will gradually, but steadily, lessen the impacts associated with hazard events in our region.

If you should have any questions, please contact the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management at 201-785-5757.

Contact Us

Captain Matthew J. Tiedemann, CEM, CPM

County Coordinator

Lindsay Agar

Executive Assistant


 Bergen County Department of Public Safety

Division of Emergency Management

285 Campgaw Road • Mahwah, NJ 07430

(201) 785-5757

Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm (excluding County holidays)