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Dutchess County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Emergency Response
Dana Smith, Commissioner


What is Hazard Mitigation?
Project Contacts
Draft Plan
Mitigation Links and Resources



The Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response is leading a project to develop a County-Wide Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). All municipalities have committed to participating in this planning project, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2015.

The creation of these plans will help the area to better prepare for, respond to and recover from hazard events and disasters, and allow the County and municipalities to maintain their eligibility for federal mitigation grant funding from the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYS DHSES) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is an opportunity for the County and municipalities to create a detailed plan that will address a variety of potential hazards that could affect our residents, businesses and other institutions.

The goal of the HMP is to identify projects that can reduce damages from future natural hazards. The plan will include a risk assessment and a hazard-mitigation strategy. This plan will address the County and municipality’s risk to flooding, severe storms, severe winter storms, extreme temperatures, wildfires and other natural hazards. Mitigation projects and initiatives will be identified to address these risks to both public and private property.

The public and local and regional stakeholders are encouraged to provide input to the planning process. Dutchess County residents are encouraged to take our online Citizen Hazard Preparedness and Mitigation Survey.

If you represent any of the following stakeholder groups, please complete an online mitigation survey targeted to your area by clicking one of the links below:

Highway and DPW Survey

What is Hazard Mitigation?

The term "hazard mitigation" describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by hazards, or disasters, such as floods, severe storms, severe winter storms and wildfires. As the costs of disasters continue to rise, governments and citizens must find ways to reduce hazard risks to communities. Efforts made to reduce hazard risks should be compatible with other community goals; safer communities are more attractive to employers as well as residents. As communities plan for new development and improvements to existing infrastructure, mitigation can and should be an important component of the planning effort.

While mitigation activities can and should be taken before a disaster occurs, hazard mitigation is essential. Often after disasters, repairs and reconstruction are completed in such a way as to simply restore damaged property to pre-disaster conditions. The implementation of such hazard mitigation actions leads to building stronger, safer and smarter communities that are better able to reduce future injuries and damage.

Hazard Mitigation Breaks the Cycle

When recurrent disasters take place such as riverine flooding, Nor’Easters and ice storms, repeated damage and reconstruction can occur. This recurrent reconstruction becomes more expensive as the years go by. Hazard mitigation breaks this expensive cycle of recurrent damage and increasing reconstruction costs by taking a long-term view of rebuilding and recovering from disasters.

What Are the Benefits?

Effective hazard mitigation planning can provide the following benefits:

  • Reduces the loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities and economic hardship
  • Reduces short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs
  • Increases cooperation and communication within the community through the planning process
  • Increases potential for state and federal funding for recovery and reconstruction projects

What Types of Mitigation Techniques Can Be Employed?


Hazard mitigation actions are commonly broken into four different categories:

  • Local Plans and Regulations (LPR) – These actions include government authorities, policies or codes that influence the way land and buildings are being developed and built.
  • Structure and Infrastructure Project (SIP) - These actions involve modifying existing structures and infrastructure to protect them from a hazard or remove them from a hazard area. This could apply to public or private structures as well as critical facilities and infrastructure. This type of action also involves projects to construct manmade structures to reduce the impact of hazards.
  • Natural Systems Protection (NRP) – These are actions that minimize damage and losses, and also preserve or restore the functions of natural systems.
  • Education and Awareness Programs (EAP) – These are actions to inform and educate citizens, elected officials, and property owners about hazards and potential ways to mitigate them.

Common mitigation actions that are taken include:


  • Enforcement of building codes, floodplain management codes and environmental regulations
  • Public safety measures such as upgrades of roadways, culverts and dams
  • Acquisition or relocation of structures, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain
  • Acquisition of hazard prone lands in their undeveloped state to ensure they remain so
  • Retrofitting structures and design of new construction such as elevating a home or building
  • Protecting critical facilities and infrastructure from future hazard events
  • Mitigation, disaster recovery and Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning
  • Development and distribution of outreach materials related to hazard mitigation
  • Deployment of warning systems
  • Drainage system upgrades


Project Contacts


Dutchess County Primary Point of Contact:

William Beale
Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response
392 Creek Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 486-2082  

Planning Consultant Point of Contact:

Jonathan Raser
Tetra Tech, Inc.
1000 The American Road, Morris Plains, NJ 07950
(973) 630-8042


Draft Plan

Sections of the Draft Plan are provided below as they become available for public review.

Section 1 Introduction

Section 2 Plan Adoption

Section 3 Planning Process

Section 4 County Profile

Section 5 Risk Assessment

    5.1 – 5.3 Methodology and Tools, Hazard of Concern ID, Hazard Raking

    5.4 Hazard Profile and Vulnerability Assessments

        5.4.1 Coastal
        5.4.2 Drought
        5.4.3 Earthquake
        5.4.4 Extreme Temprature
        5.4.5 Flood

        5.4.6 Severe Storm
        5.4.7 Severe Winter Storm
        5.4.8 Wildfire


Section 6 Mitigation Strategies

Section 7 Plan Maintenance Procedures

Section 8 Planning Partnership

Section 9 Jurisdictional Annexes


    9.1 Dutchess County
    9.2 Beacon (City)
    9.3 Poughkeepsie (City)
    9.4 Amenia (Town)
    9.5 Beekman (Town)
    9.6 Clinton (Town)
    9.7 Dover (Town)
    9.8 East Fishkill (Town)
    9.9 Fishkill (Town)
    9.10 Hyde Park (Town) 
    9.11 LaGrange (Town)
    9.12 Milan (Town)
    9.13 North East (Town)
    9.14 Pawling (Town)
    9.15 Pine Plains (Town)
    9.16 Pleasant Valley (Town)
    9.17 Poughkeepsie (Town)
    9.18 Red Hook (Town)
    9.19 Rhinebeck (Town)
    9.20 Stanford (Town)
    9.21 Union Vale (Town)
    9.22 Wappinger (Town)
    9.23 Washington (Town)
    9.24 Fishkill (Village)
    9.25 Millbrook (Village)
    9.26 Millerton (Village)
    9.27 Pawling (Village)
    9.28 Red Hook (Village)
    9.29 Rhinebeck (Village)
    9.30 Tivoli (Village)
    9.31 Wappingers Falls (Village)



Mitigation Links and Resources

FEMA Mitigation Homepage

FEMA Mitigation Grants Homepage

New York State Office of Emergency Management - Mitigation Homepage

National Flood Insurance Program and

2014 New York State Hazard Mitigation Plan

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