This page tells you about mitigation and what it takes for mitigation to be effective.
Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices and invest in long-term [community] well-being.
By incorporating the latest advancements in building design and technology – and by applying lessons learned from prior disasters – we can create safer, stronger, more resilient communities. Professionals in a variety of disciplines provide the expertise to make communities safer. Engineers, architects, hydrologists, geologists, urban planners, digital cartographers and others all play vital roles.
Their work provides the evidence-based knowledge needed to understand risk and take action to reduce it, including: properly elevating homes in flood prone regions; strengthening buildings in hurricane zones; retrofitting structures for improved earthquake resistance; providing funds to manage wildfire risk and making building codes for new construction more vigorous.
Creating resilient communities – that are able to not only survive hazards but come through them safely, quickly and securely – requires investment. Building safe rooms, making seismic retrofits for earthquake resistance, constructing floodwalls and planning other structures to protect lives is important work. But investment in mitigation is not just a focus on bricks and mortar. It’s also: investing in technology and analyzing risks; applying proven principles of floodplain management; creating stronger building codes and guiding smarter development; building strong relationships with communities and much more. Mitigation investment is, ultimately, a commitment to devote human and financial capital to strengthen a community – and prevent hazards from becoming disasters.
- FEMA works with communities to shape hazard mitigation plans that will support long-term decision making and resilience.
- Communities, in turn, adopt and enforce local building codes, floodplain ordinances and actively encourage their residents to be more resilient to disasters.
- FEMA provides technical guidance and expertise to support smart, safe building practices in earthquake-, high-wind- and flood-prone areas.
- NFIP communities must adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.
- FEMA also works with communities to regularly update flood hazard maps to reflect local changes impacting the likelihood of flooding and to put the best in new technology to work.