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Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves

National Institute of Building Sciences logoThis is volume 1 of a congressionally mandated independent study to assess future savings from mitigation activities. The study was carried out by the National Institute of Building Sciences through its Multihazard Mitigation Council under contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which commissioned the project in 2000.

The study was conducted in two phases resulting in two reports. Phase I of the study identified the data needed for the assessment and reviewed potential methods for assessing the benefits of hazard mitigation measures. It is a detailed work plan and budget estimate for conduct of Phase II. The effort was conducted by an expert committee possessing experience and expertise in various aspects of hazard mitigation and benefit assessment.

The study shows that money spent on reducing the risk of natural hazards is a sound investment. On average, a dollar spent by FEMA on hazard mitigation provides the nation about $4 in future benefits. In addition, FEMA grants to mitigate the effects of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes between 1993 and 2003 are expected to save more than 220 lives and prevent almost 4,700 injuries over approximately 50 years.

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