FEMA makes significant natural hazard mitigation investments to strengthen the nation’s resilience. This study demonstrates the importance of hazard mitigation investments in breaking the cycle of disaster damage while decreasing the financial burden on individuals and communities.
This study highlights the effectiveness of projects funded under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs by quantifying the losses avoided due to hazard mitigation investments. The projects evaluated by this loss avoidance study update are residential elevation projects.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the community of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana spent a total of $2.36 million to elevate 23 individual homes. FEMA provided $1.5 million in grants to support the Parish’s resilience efforts. These
efforts avoided at least $2.24 million of damage and other losses in 2012 during Hurricane Isaac and another $3 million in 2021 during Hurricane Ida. For this study’s 23 elevated individual homes – total, cumulative losses avoided so far are estimated to be 2.23 times the total mitigation costs.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the costliest disasters in the nation’s history, with total estimated economic damage of more than $160 billion. FEMA, the state and local governments invested millions of dollars in hazard mitigation measures to help protect individuals and property from future damage. This included elevating 23 individual homes in Jefferson Parish that suffered severe flood damage. These homes were in high-risk flood areas and each home was elevated above FEMA's base flood elevation.
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