Without mitigation actions we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance. Disasters can happen at anytime and anyplace. Their human and financial consequences are hard to predict. We do know that we live on a restless and ever-changing planet. Throughout time on Earth, the land has changed in innumerable ways – from great earthquakes, to massive volcanoes, to monster hurricanes, our Earth is in constant change and motion.
These natural events – big or small, predicted or not – occur with alarming regularity. A short online history search on disasters will show that there are natural events happening literally daily here and around the world. So we can’t change the fact that natural events happen.
What we can change is the way we act to reduce the effects of these natural events on our families, our homes, our schools, our places of worship and learning, and the whole community. Without taking action, we can be sure we’ll get zero results, but by knowing the risks we face, and by taking appropriate action to reduce those risks, we’ll significantly better our chances of surviving the event and recovering more quickly.
What we know:
- The number of disasters each year is increasing, but only 50 percent of events trigger Federal assistance. When disaster assistance is available, it’s most frequently in the form of a low-interest loan which must be repaid.
- Disaster aid to North Dakota for spring 2011 flooding was more than $400 million (FEMA).
- 549 people were killed in tornados in 2011 (NOAA).
- Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood losses.
- FEMA’s mitigation programs help reduce the impact of events and our dependence on taxpayers, and the Treasury for disaster relief.