Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. In order for mitigation to be effective we need to take action now - before the next disaster - to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, and insuring against risk). It is important to know that disasters can happen at any time and any place and if we are not prepared, consequences can be fatal.

Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security and self-reliance.

All Wyoming communities now have current, approved mitigation plans

Years of hard work and planning have led to all Wyoming communities having an approved mitigation plan. As a result, the state of Wyoming is more prepared to respond to, and recover from all-hazards.

Every community in the state now has a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved mitigation plan. This achievement better positions Wyoming communities and will minimize the impact of natural disasters. Historically only about 70 percent of Wyoming communities had an approved mitigation plan. 

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security initiated the planning process in 2014 and local communities, counties, tribes, and emergency response regions joined together to complete mitigation plans. In the mitigation planning process communities review natural hazards and their jurisdiction's capacity to respond to, and recover from natural events. Mitigation projects are then developed to help communities be more resilient and minimize the impact of natural hazards.

“Wyoming communities are the places where we work and raise our families – the place we call home,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “The time dedicated by these communities to complete these plans ensures our neighborhoods become more resilient and prepared to deal with natural and manmade disasters.”

Counties and jurisdictions with current mitigation plans are eligible to apply for federal grant funding recover from disasters and to complete mitigation projects to become more resilient. 

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security created a partnership in 2014 with local emergency managers to reach the goal of all jurisdictions having an approved mitigation plan.

In recent history local communities have submitted successful mitigation grant applications to protect communities and critical infrastructure through riverbank stabilization projects, detention/retention pond projects, property acquisitions in the floodplain, and electrical grid hardening. 

FEMA mitigation grants cover up to 75% of the cost of the project, with the community covering the remaining 25 percent.