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Natural Hazards Mitigation

ASCE supports sustained efforts to improve professional and related practices in planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance that will mitigate the effects of natural and man-made hazards. ASCE is committed to participating in national and international activities that encourage mitigation of the effects of hazards and provide improved warning of impending hazards. ASCE will collaborate and cooperate with government and private agency initiatives and activities for hazard mitigation, preparedness and disaster recovery. ASCE supports efforts to ensure that federal, state and local disaster mitigation funds are non-taxable.

  • A recent study and report by the Multihazard Mitigation Council entitled “Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities,”  has concluded the money spent on reducing the risk of natural hazards is a sound investment. On average, a dollar spend by FEMA on hazard mitigation provides the nation about $4 in future benefits.
  • ASCE encourages comprehensive, realistic, and affordable measures for reducing the harmful impacts of natural and man-made hazards.
  • Modest investment in research and development can lead to significant reduction in lives lost and property damaged during earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural and man-made hazards.

Status Report

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) has never received its full authorized funding. The program will need to be reauthorized in 2009. The program coordinates earthquake research among the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey.
The National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, authorized since FY 2006, has never received any direct authorizations. The program expired in 2008, but ASCE will continue efforts to reauthorize the program in 2009. The program would coordinate wind hazards research between the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.