|Cost and Benefits of Natural Hazard Mitigation (FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency, 57 p.)|
Natural hazard mitigation is defined as a sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. This report reviews the types of benefits that can accrue to different segments of society from mitigative measures, the types of costs that can be incurred by undertaking the actions, and the types of analyses needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness associated with the mitigation measure. In addition, the report provides a review of the tools of hazard mitigation, to give the reader an understanding of how mitigation measures are implemented.
At the core of this report are 16 case studies of mitigation measures that were implemented in various locations across the nation. These cases demonstrate that mitigation is effective against several types of natural hazards and can be accomplished through the use of many different mitigation tools. The cases also illustrate that the various tools can be implemented in all major regions of the country. Further, since disasters impact the entire community, hazard mitigation relies on an investment from all sectors of the community, not just Federal, State, and local governments. An important theme that emerges from several of the cases is that mitigation is more effective when undertaken before the advent of a natural hazard. The cases demonstrate representative solutions for cost-effective hazard mitigation.
Each case study also uses photographs, graphic illustrations, and information boxes to highlight important findings. Although these tools assist in clearly conveying important points and add interest to each study, it is best to read the entire case study to get a thorough understanding of the tools and concepts of hazard mitigation, approaches to mitigation, and their applications.