According to FEMA, since 1962, the City of Baltimore has been impacted by the effects of at least 24 major declared natural disasters. Six of those events have occurred in the past three years. The increasing amount of high value commercial and residential development projects in the City, coupled with successful major public events, has contributed to the rising visibility of Baltimore as a desirable international destination.
The intersection of these infrastructure- and population-driven factors, with the potential for increasing frequency of medium and high impact natural hazards, is likely to also exacerbate the City’s vulnerability to these hazards.
According to FEMA, hazard mitigation is sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards. The purpose of mitigation planning is to identify policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future losses.
In 2000, the President signed into law the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000). Part of this act requires local governments to develop and submit a hazard mitigation plan as a condition of receiving mitigation project grants. Hazard mitigation plans are required to be updated every five years. The City’s Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan serves as the foundation for Baltimore’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses, damage, and expenses.