APA Policy Guide on Hazard Mitigation
Adopted July 18, 2014
The American Planning Association and its Chapters and Divisions support measures and policies to enhance awareness of risks and efforts to improve community preparedness, resilience, and sustainability in the face of both natural and human-caused hazards. Throughout this Policy Guide is discussion of the differences and the tension between adaptation, response and recovery. There is an understandable — and economically and socially rational — basis for wanting to protect community assets in place, protect people, and rebuild in place as quickly as possible, yet this may not be truly in the best long-term interests of individuals, communities, regions or the nation. The American Planning Association and its Chapters and Divisions are ideally suited to assist with the community, state, and national dialogue on these issues because as planners, ours is a profession that transcends all other hazard mitigation-centered disciplines and also focuses on shared futures.
Planning for hazards before they strike can help answer questions in a more effective and efficient environment that can aid in both preparedness for hazards and coordination before, during and after disasters. It is critical to include government and regulatory agencies, non-governmental entities, educational institutions, private sector organizations including health care providers, and citizens in hazard mitigation planning.