New State Hazard Mitigation Plan adopted

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, or HI-EMA, has released the 2023 update to the State Hazard Mitigation Plan, a document that provides a framework for future efforts to reduce the risk of hazards across Hawaii.

The plan will be used to guide work in the years ahead “to reduce or eliminate the harm caused to Hawaii and its communities by wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and other hazards,” according to a HI-EMA press release.


The state fully updates the plan every five years, and it must be approved by the governor and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Additional amendments may be made annually to reflect plan changes by HI-EMA, the counties and other partners.

FEMA requires that states must have an approved hazard mitigation plan to qualify for numerous federal assistance and mitigation grants.

HI-EMA began collecting public comments about the new plan in December 2022, including a series of public meetings across the state and virtual meetings via teleconference. Gov. Josh Green formally adopted the plan on Sept. 27.

“This plan is a cornerstone of the work that emergency managers do to reduce the risk and harm from known hazards,” James Barros, HI-EMA administrator, said in the press release. “The state works with the counties, and the counties work with their communities to turn this plan into projects that protect life and property.”

The plan identifies the major natural hazards that affect the state, assesses the risk that each hazard poses, analyzes the vulnerability of residents, property and infrastructure to the specific hazard, and recommends actions that can be taken to reduce the risk and vulnerability to the hazard.

The updated plan can be found on the HI-EMA website at

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