National Drought Mitigation Center

Planning Processes

Collaborative Drought Planning Using Scenario Exercises

This tool provides information and tools to help plan drought scenario-based exercises — structured, interactive activities designed for engaging decision-makers, stakeholders, planners, and emergency managers in the process of planning and managing mitigation and response activities for a hypothetical drought. It is also available as a pdf.

Drought Planning Using Community Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

The National Drought Mitigation Center and the Public Policy Center, both at the University of Nebraska, teamed up to create a FEMA-sanctioned Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process for drought, using the drought-prone Platte River Basin as a case study.

Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch

This comprehensive drought planning guide for ranchers was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency.

Planning and Drought

The National Drought Mitigation Center and National Integrated Drought Information System worked with the American Planning Association on Planning Advisory Service Report No. 574, Planning and Drought, released in January 2014. 

National Drought Management Policy Guidelines: A Template for Action

The National Drought Management Policy Guidelines provide a template for action that countries can use in the development of a national drought management policy and drought preparedness/mitigation plans. The process is structured in 10 steps that can be adapted by countries to reflect their institutional, infrastructure, legal, socio-economic and environmental context.

Drought-Ready Communities

A Guide to Community Drought Preparedness was developed in 2010 out of a two-year pilot project involving the NDMC, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the Illinois State Water Survey and State Climatologist’s Office, the Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance, and three individual communities. The Guide is intended to help communities across the U.S. increase drought resilience and reduce drought impacts by stepping them through the process of developing a drought monitoring and communication system, educating citizens, and identify drought mitigation and response actions.

The 10-Step Drought Planning Process

The 10-Step Drought Planning Process, first published by NDMC founding director Dr. Donald A. Wilhite in 1990, has been applied and modified by states, tribes, and countries around the world. Since then Wilhite and others have revised and updated it to incorporate recent experiences and the growing awareness of awareness of the need for drought planning and mitigation. Its most recent update appeared as "Drought Preparedness Planning: Building Institutional Capacity," by Donald A. Wilhite, Michael J. Hayes, and Cody Knutson, which was published as a chapter in Drought and Water Crises: Science, Technology, and Management Issues, edited by Wilhite (CRC Press, 2005).

How to Reduce Drought Risk

The Preparedness and Mitigation working group of the Western Drought Coordination Council (WDCC), including NDMC staff, created this guide in 1998 to help states, tribes and municipalities assess vulnerability to drought. It is a step-by-step process for users to identify actions that can be taken to reduce potential drought-related impacts.

CWCB's Drought Planning Resources

The CWCB has a growing collection of detailed resources to help municipalities prepare for drought so that they can take action before there is an emergency. 

Drought Management Toolkit for Public Water Suppliers

The State of Utah revised "How to Reduce Drought Risk" to produce this document in March 2008. It's on the Utah Division of Water Resources website, linked under "Drought Management Model Plans".

Near East Drought Planning Manual

The NDMC worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to produce the Near East Drought Planning Manual, which was published in 2008.

California Urban Drought Guidebook

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Urban Water Conservation Council worked together on the Urban Drought Guidebook in 2008 to provide technical assistance to local water suppliers. NDMC staff reviewed it and provided feedback.

AWWA Drought Resources Community

Free registration with American Water Works Association provides access to an excellent resource collection related to drought preparedness.