|What is Hazard Mitigation?
"Hazard Mitigation" means to reduce or alleviate the losses of life, injuries and property resulting from natural and human-made hazards through long-term strategies. These long-term strategies include planning, policy changes, programs, projects and other activities. Mitigation is the responsibility of individuals, private businesses and industries, state, local and federal governments. Hazard Mitigation Breaks the Cycle when recurrent disasters take place, such as flooding along a stream or creek, repeated damage and reconstruction occurs. This recurrent reconstruction is often more expensive as the years go by. Hazard mitigation breaks this expensive cycle of recurrent damage and increasing reconstruction costs by taking a long-term view of rebuilding and recovery following natural disasters.
What Are the Benefits?
Reduces the loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities and economic hardship.
Reduces short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs.
Increases cooperation and communication within the community through the planning process.
Increases potential for state and federal funding for recovery and reconstruction projects.
What Are the Tools of Hazard Mitigation?
Land use planning & regulation of the development in hazard-prone areas, such as prohibiting new construction in a floodplain, along a coastline or in any other hazard prone area.
Enforcement of building codes and environmental regulations.
Public safety measures such as continual maintenance of roadways, culverts and dams.
Acquisition or relocation of properties, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain.
Retrofitting of structures & design of new construction such as elevating a home or building.
Coastal zone management, such as dune restoration and harbor safety measures.
Comprehensive emergency planning, preparedness and recovery.
What Can You Do to Lower the Risks and Costs of Natural Disasters?
- Be aware of the natural hazards (floods, hurricanes, coastal storms, tornadoes, wildfires, etc.) that will affect you and your community.
- Learn more about hazard mitigation techniques and disseminate this information throughout the community.
- Conduct a risk assessment of public-owned property and take corrective actions.
- Get to know your town planner, local/regional planning staff and association, and other planning officials in your community.
- Establish a local hazard mitigation team of government, community and business leaders to help develop a strategic mitigation plan before disasters occur.
- Participate in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) which provides credits in the form of reduced flood insurance premiums for policyholders in communities performing floodplain management activities.