"The federal government enacted the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA), which requires local jurisdictions to develop customized disaster mitigation plans. The problem was that the City of Bellingham did not have a disaster mitigation plan that meets the requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act. The purpose of this research project was to identify a disaster mitigation planning process for the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County government. The research questions addressed in this paper were; (a) what are the requirements of the DMA that must be completed? (b) what are the common characteristics of current disaster mitigation planning efforts in western Washington State communities? (c) what are the characteristics of our community that must be considered in our planning process? and, (d) what are the key steps for a planning process to be successful in the community?"