What is Hazard Mitigation?
"Hazard Mitigation" means to permanently reduce or alleviate
the losses of life, injuries and property resulting from natural
and human-made hazards through long-term strategies. These long-term
strategies include planning, policy changes, programs, projects
and other activities. Mitigation is the responsibility of individuals,
private businesses and industries, state, local and federal governments.
Hazard Mitigation Breaks the Cycle
When recurrent disasters take place, such as flooding along a river,
repeated damage and reconstruction occurs. This recurrent reconstruction
is often more expensive as the years go by. Hazard mitigation breaks
this expensive cycle of recurrent damage and increasing reconstruction
costs by taking a long-term view of rebuilding and recovery following
What Are the Benefits?
What Are the Tools of Hazard Mitigation?
- Reduces the loss of life, property, essential services, critical
facilities and economic hardship.
- Reduces short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction
- Increases cooperation and communication within the community
through the planning process.
- Increases potential for state and federal funding for recovery
and reconstruction projects.
What Can You Do to Lower the Risks and Costs
of Natural Disasters?
- Land use planning & regulation of the development in hazard-prone
areas, such as prohibiting new construction in a floodplain,
along a coastline or in any other hazard prone area.
- Enforcement of building codes and environmental regulations.
- Public safety measures such as continual maintenance of roadways,
culverts and dams.
- Acquisition or relocation of properties, such as purchasing
buildings located in a floodplain.
- Retrofitting of structures & design of new construction
such as elevating a home or building.
- Coastal zone management, such as dune restoration and harbor
- Comprehensive emergency planning, preparedness and recovery.
- Be aware of the natural hazards (floods, hurricanes, coastal
storms, tornadoes, wildfires, etc.) that will affect you and
- Learn more about hazard mitigation techniques and disseminate
this information throughout the community.
- Conduct a risk assessment of public-owned property and take
- Get to know your town planner, local/regional planning staff
and association, and other planning officials in your community.
- Establish a local hazard mitigation team of government, community
and business leaders to help develop a strategic mitigation
plan before disasters occur.
- Participate in the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP)
Community Rating System (CRS) which provides credits in the
form of reduced flood insurance premiums for policyholders in
communities performing floodplain management activities. For
more information on NFIP and CRS, contact the MA Department
of Environmental Management's Flood Hazard Management Program
Get a free copy of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning:
A Community Guide by writing to:
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Flood Hazard Management Program
251 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114-2104
For more information about hazard mitigation, go to the Federal
Emergency Management Agency website at www.fema.gov/fima