Floods, tornadoes, severe storms, and earthquakes are among the natural hazard risks in Indiana. Since 2000, FEMA has declared 20 major disasters for the State of Indiana, which includes the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Indiana and its counties need help developing its multi-hazard mitigation plans.


The Polis Center specializes in flood and other natural disaster mitigation by looking at communities beyond physical infrastructure and considering vulnerable populations, social risks, social determinants of health, and social services. Polis uses its expertise to develop thoughtful and thorough mitigation plans for the state and many counties to make certain Indiana is well-positioned in the event of natural disasters.


This dashboard shows the current status on a county level of  Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans in Indiana. The next state mitigation plan will be released in 2024.

Example: 2019 State of Indiana Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

The goal of mitigation is to reduce the future impacts of hazards including loss of life, property damage, disruption to local and regional economies, and the expenditure of public and private funds for recovery. Sound mitigation must be based upon sound risk assessment. A risk assessment involves quantifying the potential losses resulting from a disaster by assessing the vulnerability of buildings, infrastructure, and people. The Polis Center helps the State of Indiana prepare its mitigation plans. The process includes examining the disasters that impact the state and identifying high risk communities and areas of vulnerability, and exploring emerging threats. The state uses the plan to encourage local jurisdictions to adopt sound mitigation principles and activities, and allows the state to provide technical assistance and funding opportunities that help communities become more disaster resilient.

In 2010, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) conducted a unified state-level Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) to classify Indiana hazards as high risk, moderate risk, or low risk based upon the probability of occurrence and the potential impact.

Combining the IDHS guidelines for hazard prioritization with community collaboration and feedback, Polis helped the planning team prioritize their hazards. Flooding was identified as the hazard with the highest level of risk and impact. Vulnerability to flooding was determined in three ways: 1) Hazus-MH Level 2 analysis, 2) analysis of community participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and 3) analysis of risk indicators in the Community Action Potential Index (CAPI).

The Indiana Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) seeks to examine the disasters that have impacted the state, identify high-risk communities and areas of vulnerability, and explore emerging threats. All of the assistance provided through federal and state funding has been, and will continue to be, granted to local and state agencies within the scope and guidance provided as required by federal, state, and local rules, laws, and regulations.

From 2008 to 2019, Indiana received nine federal disaster declarations, which have impacted 87 of its 92 counties. The last disaster natural disaster (DR-4363) was declared on May 4, 2018 after melting snow and heavy rain resulted in extensive floods in northwestern Indiana and along the Ohio River in southern Indiana after a severe winter storm resulted in the second highest calendar day snowfall for Indianapolis. Some areas had 4 to 7 inches of precipitation above normal in February. It was the wettest February on record in Evansville.

By fulfilling the mitigation plan requirements for the state, the 2019 State of Indiana Standard Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan enables Indiana to become eligible for the following FEMA Grants:

  • Public Assistance (PA) Categories C through G (e.g., repairs to damaged infrastructure, publicly owned buildings)
  • Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG)
  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) planning and project grants
  • Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) project grant
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) planning and project grants

Since 2008, Indiana has received almost $50,000,000 in Mitigation grant funding through these programs.

The next state mitigation plan will be released in 2024. This dashboard shows the status on a county level of  Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans in Indiana.

To learn more, contact Danielle Lafever.