It’s simpler than it sounds. A protected home or community is a place which is able to withstand the various hazards that might impact that place. We call it Hazard Mitigation which is a complicated phrase meant to convey a pretty simple thought. Hazard mitigation is taking action now – before the next disaster – to reduce human and financial costs later. Though it sounds complicated, hazard mitigation – reducing the impacts of hazards like floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural events – doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot of money. There are many ways to reduce our exposure to losses.
There are some things we know for sure – hazard mitigation saves lives and money over the long haul:
- On average, every $1 invested in mitigation saves $4 that would have been spent on a disaster.
- A community which agrees to limit building in high flood-risk zones, or one which enforces building codes in places where earthquakes, tornadoes or hurricanes are a major threat, significantly reduces its risk when natural events occur – that means fewer lives lost, less damage to buildings and infrastructure, and better pinpointing of emergency response to more impacted areas following a disaster.
- A family which protects itself from the devastating financial effects of flooding by purchasing flood insurance can save itself thousands of dollars in the wake of a flood because most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.