This paper provides an accounting of where and when mitigation and recovery investments have occurred in Louisiana, thereby generating a mitigation investment portfolio for the state.
An exploratory data analysis of FEMA OpenData sets, supplemented by data on disaster damage and recovery, was conducted to develop a portfolio of mitigation actions implemented in the State of Louisiana since 1989 and to calculate damage to mitigation and recovery to mitigation expenditure ratios. Not surprisingly, Louisiana relies heavily on funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which it largely spends on home elevations and acquisitions with limited utilization of other mitigation actions.
The analysis of Louisiana expenditures shows that, on average, residents suffer nearly $260 in direct disaster losses for every $1 invested in mitigation and the federal government spends $10 on recovery for every $1 invested in mitigation. At these levels, mitigation investments are ineffective and/or insufficient in stabilizing the state’s damage trajectory.