Hazard Mitigation


Hazard Mitigation is the sum of the many actions that can be taken at the local and regional level to reduce or eliminate the risk to human life and property from a variety of natural hazards, including drought, hurricanes, winter storms, and wildfires. Mitigation happens before disaster strikes, saving communities time, effort, and money as opposed to reacting only after an emergency.

In order to proactively plan to address hazards, the GWRC has led the development of regional hazard mitigation plans, with the first Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan produced in 2006, and updated in 2011, 2017, and most recently in 2023. The current 2023 Plan is available at the following link: Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan is intended to help citizens and governments in the region understand the risk of natural hazards, and how to mitigate these risks in the future.

This plan serves two roles within the Region:

  • First, the plan identifies natural hazards that pose a threat to the safety, health, and economy of the region and its member jurisdictions, as well as steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of these natural hazards in the future, helping communities get back on their feet and back to normal lives as quickly and easily as possible. The community can reduce both the impact and cost of natural disasters through advance preparation rather than acting only after disaster has struck.


  • Second, this plan ensures the region’s compliance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which requires that local governments develop natural hazard mitigation plans in order to qualify for both pre-disaster and post-disaster grant opportunities. The Act requires that these plans demonstrate “a jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risk from natural hazards, serving as a guide for decision makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of natural hazards.”
Hazards identified in GWRC’s 2023 Hazard Mitigation Plan

2023 Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Pursuant to the requirement that hazard mitigation plans be updated every five (5) years, the GWRC is developing an update of the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan in partnership with its local member jurisdictions: the towns of Bowling Green and Port Royal, the City of Fredericksburg, and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford, along with the Rappahannock Tribe. Information on the process and opportunities for engagement may be found below. Please email any questions or comments to hazardplan@gwregion.org