What is Mitigation?

Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Effective mitigation measures can break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Mitigation efforts provide value to our community by (1) creating safer communities by reducing loss of life and property, (2) enabling individuals to recover more rapidly from flood and other disasters, and (3) lessening the financial impact on the city and its communities.

Three Main Components

Effective mitigation is achieved through three critical components – analyzing risk, reducing risk, and insuring for flood risk.

  • Analyze Risk: Determining the impact of natural hazards that lead to effective strategies for reducing risk.
  • Reduce Risk: Reducing or eliminating long-term risk from hazards on the existing built environment and future construction.
  • Insure for Flood Risk: Reducing the impact of floods on the Nation by providing affordable flood insurance (Risk Insurance).

Risk Analysis

Risk Analysis applies engineering, planning, and advanced technology to determine the potential impact of natural hazard events and to develop strategies to manage the risks associated with these hazards. Risk Analysis includes assessing critical information both before and after a disaster strikes, developing and maintaining a state-of-the art inventory of flood maps, and supporting mitigation planning

Risk Reduction

Risk Reduction works to reduce risk to life and property through land use planning, floodplain management, the adoption of sound building practices, and a variety of grant programs that support these activities. Mitigation projects that reduce risk include elevating, relocating, or acquiring properties located in floodplains and returning them to open space, and the reinforcing of buildings in earthquake-prone areas.

Risk Insurance

The Risk Insurance Division manages the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is a Federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase flood insurance as protection against flood losses, while requiring State and local governments to enforce floodplain management ordinances that reduce future flood damages. Over 20,300 communities currently participate in the NFIP.