A comprehensive state capability assessment includes examining administrative, political, and financial support. A number of projects, programs, and policies were documented through a series of stakeholder meetings, agency interviews, and a review of both local mitigation plans and other state and local plans. There are four primary types of capabilities relevant to achieving long-term risk reduction through mitigation planning:
- Planning and regulatory capabilities are plans, policies, codes, programs, and ordinances that prevent and reduce the impacts of hazards.
- Administrative and technical capabilities include boards, commissions, departments, staff, and consulting services, along with the related skills and tools, that can be used for mitigation planning and implementing specific mitigation actions.
- Financial capabilities include access to or eligibility to use funding resources for hazard mitigation.
- Education and outreach capabilities include programs and methods already in place that could be used to support the implementation of mitigation actions and communicate hazard-related information.
The State of West Virginia is responsible for supporting local governments with mitigation planning through training, technical assistance, and, when available, funding. This ensures the local counties and communities are aware of hazard data, planning resources, and state priorities for mitigation. Reviewing the local hazard mitigation plans and identifying their foundational capabilities, floodplain management capabilities, land use planning, and evaluations and effectiveness help inform and influence the State’s risk assessment and mitigation priorities. It provides a mutual understanding between the State and local governments for a streamlined review and approval process, better aligns with mitigation strategies and plans, and directs available resources toward effective mitigation planning.