This report aims to help U.S. decision-makers to build a hazard mitigation strategy so they can protect lives, property, and assets. The findings are intended to inform future code changes to make communities more resilient, help jurisdictions make decisions on what codes to adopt and enforce, and assist policymakers in developing effective federal programs that support predisaster mitigation.
The interim study examined four specific natural hazards: riverine and coastal flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires at the wildland-urban interface (WUI). It examines the savings (benefit) associated with an identified level of investment (cost). The national-level benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) aggregate the study findings across these natural hazards and across state and local BCRs.
The study provides an updated examination of the benefits of U.S. federal agency grant programs. It utilizes a more-realistic economic life span for buildings (75 versus 50 years) and takes advantage of a more-advanced Hazus-MH flood model and improvements in FEMA’s Benefit-Cost Analysis Tool, which, among other things, allows quantification of the benefit associated with enhanced service to the community provided by fire stations, hospitals, and other public-sector facilities. The study also includes the benefits associated with avoided cases of PTSD.