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Cultural Resources Hazard Mitigation Planning Program

Workshop, May 25, 2017: Weather It Together: Protecting Maryland's Historic Buildings from Flooding

MHT's Cultural Resources Hazard Mitigation Planning Program is aimed at protecting historic places, archaeological sites, and cultural landscapes from the effects of natural hazards, such as flooding, wind and coastal erosion. The impacts of Hurricane Sandy in Maryland and to historic communities along the East Coast highlighted the need to protect the many landmarks, districts and sites that contribute so much to our economy and quality of life.

Through 2017, MHT will develop trainings, model guidance and educational materials to assist local governments in creating hazard mitigation plans for their cultural resources. MHT promotes a planning framework based on FEMA's Integrating Historic Property and Cultural Resources Considerations into Hazard Mitigation Planning, which is currently being tested as part of Annapolis's Weather It Together program. MHT also offers one-on-one technical assistance to aid local governments in plan development and mitigation projects involving cultural resources. This Program is supported through the National Park Service's Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund.

In 2016, as part of this Program, MHT awarded seven planning grants to local governments and non-profit organizations to help protect of historic places and archaeological sites from future storms. More information can be found about the grantees and their projects on the MHT blog Our History, Our Heritage. MHT will compile "lessons learned" from these pilot projects to help guide counties and jurisdictions who wish to undertake similar efforts in the future.

Architectural Survey and Risk Assessment for Historic Properties

This year, 13 local jurisdictions will begin to update their hazard mitigation plans. Addressing risks to historic properties is consistent with the goals and strategies established in the updated State Hazard Mitigation Plan. The State Plan provides an opportunity for local government to include their own goals and strategies for conducting survey and risk assessment for historic properties and in developing mitigation actions to protect vulnerable properties.

MHT's Office of Research, Survey and Registration estimates that only 14 percent of the buildings in Maryland constructed before 1960 have been surveyed and evaluated. That figure equates to only about 42,000 out of nearly 600,000 properties. If communities are looking at conducting a risk assessment for their historic properties, they should include historic structures survey activities to identify and evaluate the historic integrity of unrecorded historic properties that are within the high hazard areas.

Architectural Survey Form for Hazard Mitigation Planning

The Architectural Survey Form for Hazard Mitigation Planning (see below) was created to help communities to conduct a risk assessment for historic structures that are important to the community and vulnerable to flooding. An accompanying "how to" discusses how to obtain information for the form and how to use the form in conjunction with conducting abbreviated survey district documentation. To learn more about abbreviated survey district documentation and how it can be utilized in hazard mitigation planning, please contact

Please read the "how to" prior to filling out the application. To download and open the actual form, please read the instructions below.

Downloading fillable PDF application forms

These forms work best with Acrobat Reader 10 and above.

  1. DO NOT open the forms in a browser tab or window (e.g., do not simply click the link). You will get a message saying that this type of PDF document cannot be opened within the browser.
  2. To download and save, right click on the link and choose "Save Link As..." from the menu
  3. Save the file somewhere on your computer that you will remember.

Open the forms in the Adobe Acrobat Reader (third-party PDF readers may not work).

Survey Form (right click to save)

For More Information

For technical assistance or more information on hazard mitigation planning for cultural resources, please contact Jen Sparenberg, Hazard Mitigation Program Officer, at or (410) 697-9588.