What is Mitigation?

Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now – through analyzing risk, reducing risk, or insuring against risk – to reduce the human and financial consequences of future disasters. Effective mitigation requires an understanding of local risks and current capabilities and a commitment to investing in long-term community well-being.

Martin County utilizes the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) as the countywide comprehensive mitigation plan, which has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and adopted by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners and local municipalities. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires all local governments to have a hazard mitigation plan in place in order to receive mitigation funding from FEMA.

Local mitigation plans identify the natural and human caused hazards that may affect our area. The Local Mitigation Strategy assesses risks and vulnerabilities, identifies actions to reduce losses from identified hazards, and establishes a coordinated process to implement the plan using a wide range of public and private investments.

The Martin County LMS Committee is comprised of agency representatives from:

  • Martin County
  • City of Stuart
  • Town of Jupiter Island
  • Town of Sewall’s Point
  • Town of Ocean Breeze
  • Village of Indiantown
  • Martin County School District
  • Cleveland Clinic/Martin Health Systems
  • Florida Forest Service
  • Business Industry
  • The Public

Homeowners can take steps now to protect themselves and their property from future events.

First:

Assess your risk: 

Year-round:

Prepare your home by conducting a home safety check:

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves or debris
  • Inspect roof and repair/replace any damaged areas
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles
  • Remove flammable materials within 30 feet of your home’s foundation, garages and sheds
  • Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs, remove debris and lawn cuttings, and dispose of them correctly

Finally:

Reduce your risk by:

  • Bracing garage doors
  • Improving your roof covering
  • Strengthening vents and soffits
  • Strengthening overhangs at gable end walls
  • Protecting your windows and doors from high winds (e.g. storm shutters, impact windows/doors)

Mitigation is valuable to our community as it:

  • Creates safer communities by reducing loss of life and property damage.
  • Allows individuals to minimize post-flood disaster disruptions and recover more rapidly. 
  • Lessens the financial impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

A recently updated study by the National Institute of Building Sciences shows that federally funded mitigation grants, on average, can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation. Investments made by local communities and homeowners to exceed standard building codes can save the nation $4 for every $1 spent. 
 

Types of Mitigation Techniques

Prevention - Government, administrative, or regulatory actions that influence the way land and buildings are developed to reduce hazard losses. Includes planning and zoning, floodplain laws, capital improvement programs, open space preservation, and stormwater management regulations.

Property Protection - Modification of buildings or structures to protect them from a hazard or removal of structures from a hazard area. Includes acquisition, elevation, relocation, structural retrofit, storm shutters, and shatter-resistant glass.

Public Education and Awareness - Actions to inform residents and elected officials about hazards and ways to mitigate them. Includes outreach projects, real estate disclosure, hazard information centers, and school-age and adult education.

Natural Resource Protection - Actions that minimize hazard loss and preserve or restore the functions of natural systems. Includes sediment and erosion control, stream corridor restoration, watershed management, forest and vegetation management, and wetland restoration and preservation.

Emergency Services - Actions that protect people and property during and immediately after a hazard event. Includes warning systems, emergency response services, and the protection of essential facilities.

Structural Projects - Actions that involve the construction of structures to reduce the impact of a hazard. Includes dams, setback levees, floodwalls, retaining walls, and safe rooms.​

Common Mitigation Actions

  • Enforcement of building codes, floodplain management codes and environmental regulations.
  • Public safety measures such as continual maintenance of roadways, culverts and dams.
  • Acquisition of relocation of structures, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain.
  • Acquisition of undeveloped hazard prone lands to ensure no future construction occurs there.
  • Retrofitting of structures and design of new construction, such as elevating a home or building.
  • Protecting critical facilities and infrastructure from future hazard events.
  • Planning for hazard mitigation, emergency operations, disaster recovery, and continuity of operations.
  • Development and distribution of outreach materials related to hazard mitigation.
  • Deployment of warning systems to alert and notify the public.

Contact Emergency Management

For any additional questions regarding the local mitigation strategy in Martin County, please call Martin County Emergency Management at (772) 287-1652.