Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Emergency Management
A tornado touches down

Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning

Dane County is subject to natural hazards that threaten life and health and cause extensive property damage. Dane County has received Federal disaster declarations on 15 occasions since 1976. That equates to a frequency of a natural disaster declaration nearly every three years. In addition, almost every year, there are significant weather events that cause major damages for which Federal disaster assistance is not granted.

Most people who live or work in Dane County have been affected by natural hazards in one way or another. Dane County and its residents are vulnerable to a variety of hazards including extreme temperatures, severe winter weather, tornadoes, and floods. Natural hazards in Dane County have caused injury and loss of life, severe property damage, interruption of the delivery of vital goods and services, disruption of local economies, and harm to the natural environment.

A home owner deals with the aftermath of a flood

Plan Update - 2022

In response to these concerns, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has directed the Department of Emergency Management to update the County’s plan to minimize future losses resulting from natural hazards. A planning team met for more than a year gathering information and summarizing the concerns of local officials and citizens throughout the County.

In this update cycle, the plan addresses the threat of natural hazards both in light of the region’s changing climate and community diversity. The inclusion of climate change and community diversity factors ensures Dane County can act appropriately to protect citizens’ personal and economic safety, now and for future generations.

This plan is the third update of Dane County’s Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. The first version of the plan was adopted in May of 2005, with updates adopted in 2010 and 2017.

The Plan was adopted by the Dane County Board of Supervisors in August 2022 and was recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in December 2022 as the County’s official plan. This enables Dane County and participating municipalities to apply for disaster related grants to implement projects and programs identified in the Plan.

Updated Hazard Mitigation Strategy

The plan outlines strategies that can be implemented by Dane County and local units of government within Dane County to reduce the impact of natural hazards on people, structures, and the natural environment. A wide range of hazard mitigation projects are being considered, from small individual actions to large scale community projects.

The plan was prepared as a multi-jurisdictional plan. All 61 municipalities in Dane County were invited to participate in the planning process and 30 municipalities completed the process. Each of these municipalities organized their own project steering committees, completed a local hazard assessment, and developed community-specific mitigation strategies.

Floodplain and storm water management map
Hurricane clips on roof trusses
A community storm shelter
Shady trees in an urban neighborhood
A map of local jurisdictions participating in the Hazard Mitigation Plan 2022 updates

Plan Documents

When added together, the following documents comprise the 2022 Update of the Dane County Hazard Mitigation Plan: