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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: If artifacts are found while executing a recovery grant


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



State of Iowa's Phase 1 HUD application


The State of Iowa's Phase 1 application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in cooperation with several other partners, will be submitting an application for HUD funding. The application's components are available for public comment prior to its submission.


Click here to view the fact sheet about the competition.


FINAL Application documents

There was a public hearing at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015, at the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management office in Windsor Heights, Iowa, for the public to offer any comments they may have had about the application. Written comments were received by HSEMD's Recovery Division from March 6-21.


Click here to see the comments and responses.





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

Dennis Harper

State Hazard Mitigation Program Supervisor




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