What is mitigation?

Lessening the effects of disasters by taking actions that reduce the loss of life and property.

That is mitigation.

Frederick County Office of Emergency Management supports these efforts at the local level. Effective mitigation efforts can break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

Mitigation always starts with an analysis of risk. If we don't know what disasters can affect us and how, we can't figure out ways to reduce their impact.

The goal of risk reduction is to reduce the risk to life and property, including both existing buildings and future construction.  Communities use regulations, local ordinances, land use and building practices, and mitigation projects to reduce or eliminate long-term risk from hazards and their effects.

One of the ways Frederick County does this is through the Frederick County Hazard Mitigation Plan. This important plan is updated every 5 years. The most recent update occurred in 2022.

Two very important large scale mitigation projects in Frederick County are the Carroll Creek Linear Park and the Point of Rocks Community Commons Park.

Flood Maps

At the federal level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains detailed flood maps. Flood maps help communities decide where to live, where and what to build, and how to protect themselves.

Flood maps show how likely it is for an area to flood. Any place with a 1% chance or higher chance of experiencing a flood each year is considered to have a high risk. Those areas have at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

Using a flood map, you can see the relationship between your property and the areas with the highest risk of flooding. There is no such thing as a “no-risk zone,” but some areas have a lower or moderate risk.

Mitigation and You

Mitigation efforts don't fall to government alone. It is the responsibility of every community member to take action to protect themselves, their family members (furry, scaled and feathered ones included), their property and their businesses from disasters. Here is just a partial list of mitigation activities you can do:

  • Sign up for emergency notifications, including severe weather with AlertFC
  • Evaluate your flood risk. Flooding doesn't just happen along rivers and creeks.
    • Review flood maps
    • Review insurance coverage. Flooding from any source, including sewer backups, are usually not included in basic homeowners coverage.
  • Secure shelves and water heaters to nearby walls.
  • Elevate basement items including utilities off the ground by several inches.
  • Securely store outdoor items.
  • Browse FEMA's series on protecting your property from natural hazards.

For questions or more information on mitigation, please email the Division of Emergency Management at or call 301-600-1746.

Point of Rocks Community Commons Park High Water Marker

Point of Rocks Community Commons Park Historic Floods High Water Monument