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Weather It Together: Hazard Mitigation Planning for Historic Communities

MHT has outlined its approach to hazard mitigation planning in Chapter 2 of its Flood Mitigation Guide: Maryland's Historic Buildings. The Guide promotes a planning framework generally based on FEMA's Integrating Historic Property and Cultural Resources Considerations into Hazard Mitigation Planning, with updates based on lessons learned and detailed recommendations specific to Maryland.

Hazard mitigation plans identify where important community assets are located in relation to where natural hazards are predicted to occur, estimates the dollar amount of damages that could be incurred, and puts forth a strategy and projects to mitigate the effects of those damages. Despite the financial, social, and cultural importance of historic places, they are rarely included in hazard mitigation plans. The result is that when a disaster strikes, historic properties are less likely to weather the storm as well as their non-historic counterparts. Hazard mitigation for historic properties is balancing act between modifying a property to protect it from hazards and climate change and preserving the property's historic materials, appearance, and setting.

In addition to the Flood Mitigation Guide, MHT offers training for local governments (see links in sidebar) and technical assistance. To learn more, please contact Steve Allan at

Architectural Survey Form for Hazard Mitigation Planning

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.

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)