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Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration

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What We Do

FIMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a range of programs designed to reduce future losses to homes, businesses, schools, public buildings, and critical facilities from floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.

Mitigation focuses on breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Mitigation efforts provide value to the American people by creating safer communities and reducing loss of life and property. Mitigation includes such activities as:

  • Complying with or exceeding NFIP floodplain management regulations.
  • Enforcing stringent building codes, flood-proofing requirements, seismic design standards, and wind-bracing requirements for new construction or repairing existing buildings.
  • Adopting zoning ordinances that steer development away from areas subject to flooding, storm surge or coastal erosion.
  • Retrofitting public buildings to withstand hurricane-strength winds or ground shaking.
  • Acquiring damaged homes or businesses in flood-prone areas, relocating the structures, and returning the property to open space, wetlands or recreational uses.
  • Building community shelters and tornado safe rooms to help protect people in their homes, public buildings and schools in hurricane- and tornado-prone areas.

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Mitigation’s Value to Society

  1. Mitigation creates safer communities by reducing losses of life and property.
  2. Mitigation enables individuals and communities to recover more rapidly from disasters.
  3. Mitigation lessens the financial impact of disasters on individuals, the Treasury, State, local and Tribal communities.

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Who We Are

Hazard Mitigation is sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards and their effects.

FIMA was established on November 29, 1993. At that time, Mitigation became the cornerstone of emergency management, for the first time in the history of Federal disaster assistance. The mission of the agency has shifted significantly since 1993, most notably through the creation of a separate and distinct group. FIMA's partners include a broad spectrum of stakeholders in Federal, State, Tribal, and local government, and the private sector. Partners also include professional associations and non-governmental groups involved in public policy and administration, insurance, higher education, the building sciences, and urban planning.

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FIMA is comprised of three divisions: Risk Analysis, Risk Reduction and Risk Insurance.

The primary functions of these divisions include:

  • The Risk Analysis Division applies engineering and planning practices in conjunction with advanced technology tools to identify hazards, assess vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to manage the risks associated with natural hazards.
  • The Risk Reduction Division works to reduce risk to life and property through the use of land use controls, building practices, and other tools. These activities address risk in both the existing built environment and in future development, and they occur in both pre- and post-disaster environments.
  • The Risk Insurance Division helps reduce flood losses by providing affordable flood insurance for property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations that mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. 

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FIMA's programs are significant components of the Nation's emergency management system. The statutorily authorized programs include:

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The Office of Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation provides management and oversight to all FEMA programs in their compliance with environmental planning and historic preservation laws, executive orders and regulations.

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Breaking News

Release of Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings, FEMA P-936

The latest information on dry floodproofing technologies is now available. The FEMA Building Science Branch is pleased to announce the release of its latest publication, Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings, FEMA P-936. The primary focus of the guidance document is on dry floodproofing technologies for non-residential buildings, but it also includes an overview of other techniques including wet floodproofing and the use of levees and floodwalls. The publication provides information about regulatory requirements, design considerations, and descriptions of floodproofing methods and equipment. It was developed using input from a steering committee consisting of industry professionals, designers, academic researchers, and USACE Floodproofing Committee members, as well as FEMA engineers and mitigation staff.

Key document features include:

  • Tools to assist the designer or building owner in determining the best floodproofing option for a particular building including a vulnerability checklist
  • Case studies providing examples of applied floodproofing techniques
  • Equations for determining flood forces and loads
  • A summary of results from recent dry floodproofing research and testing for new construction


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Last Updated: 
09/25/2013 - 17:31