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Geospatial Analysis Center

County Plans and HSEM Plan

Tornado Frequency

The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP) is a requirement of the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000). The development of a local government plan is required in order to maintain eligibility for certain federal disaster assistance and hazard mitigation funding programs. In order for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) communities to be eligible for future mitigation funds, they must adopt an MHMP. The Hazard Mitigation Plan evaluates and ranks the major natural, technological and domestic preparedness hazards, affecting a county as determined by frequency of event, economic impact, deaths, and injuries. Mitigation recommendations are based on input from state and local agencies and national best practices.



We have direct experience with both county and state-level Hazard Mitigation Plan updates, working with Lake County(2012), Brown County (2013), Le Sueur County (2014), Renville County (2014), Carlton County (2014), Itasca County (2014), Aitkin County (2014), Koochiching County (2014), Sibley County (2015), Traverse County (2015), Leech Lake Reservation (2015), Wright County (2015), and Scott County (2016), in addition to the State of Minnesota and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (2014). These efforts included conducting appropriate research to develop text and maps that will clearly describe and update the counties' community profile, land use, disaster history, hazard analysis and risk assessment. We were required to design and implement strategies for input by county departments, other partners and the public on risk assessment and mitigation strategies. We facilitate public meetings to develop and gather input on hazard mitigation strategies and priorities using the STAPLEE Benefit-Cost Review process.




The University of Minnesota Duluth Geospatial Analysis Center (GAC) is assisting counties with performing the hazard risk assessment for 100-year floods using the Hazus-MH GIS tool. This tool enables communities of all sizes to predict estimated losses from floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other related phenomena and to measure the impact of various mitigation practices that might help reduce those losses. The Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management office has determined that Hazus-MH should play a critical role in Minnesota's risk assessments, and therefore the 100-year flood event hazard analysis was introduced in the 2010 plans.


The Geospatial Analysis Center is now using ArcGIS Online, a cloud-based mapping and GIS platform by Esri, and their story map templates to map the recent history of floods and other natural hazards in counties throughout Minnesota. Story maps combine mapping and analysis with multi-media content such as images, videos, text, and hyperlinks. Data layers such as the 100-year floodplain and potential economic loss produced with the FEMA Hazus-MH tool are seamlessly integrated with poignant imagery from past events, in the hope that the story map will serve as a helpful tool for visually ‘reminding’ residents about hazards to encourage their participation in future mitigation. Examples are linked below:


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