What is Mitigation?

Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. This is achieved through risk analysis, which results in information that provides a foundation for mitigation activities that reduce risk, and flood insurance that protects financial investment.

FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and implements a variety of programs authorized by Congress to reduce losses that may result from natural disasters.

Pima County Office of Emergency Management supports these efforts at the local level. Effective Mitigation efforts can break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

Risk Analysis

Government agencies must understand the full impact of natural hazards using applied multi-hazard engineering science and advanced technology in order to effectively plan to reduce natural hazard effects.

Risk Reduction

The goal of risk reduction is to reduce the risk to life and property, which includes existing structures and future construction, in the pre and post-disaster environments.  This is achieved  through regulations, local ordinances, land use and building practices, and Mitigation projects that reduce or eliminate long-term risk from hazards and their effects.

Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) goal is to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance for property owners. The program encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations, which will mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures.

The NFIP is helping communities reduce the socioeconomic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of both Risk Insurance and National Flood Insurance.

The Value of Mitigation to Society

Mitigation is valuable to society in these ways:

  • It creates safer communities by reducing loss of life and property damage. For example, the rigorous building standards adopted by 20,000 communities across the country are saving the nation more than $1.1 billion a year in prevented flood damages.
  • It allows individuals to minimize post-flood disaster disruptions and recover more rapidly. For example, homes built to NFIP standards incur less damage from floods.  And when floods do cause damages, flood insurance protects the homeowner’s investment, as it did for the more than 200,000 Gulf Coast residents who received more than $23 billion in payments following the 2005 hurricanes.
  • It lessens the financial impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. For example, a recent study by the Multi-hazard Mitigation Council shows that each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of four dollars.

Mitigation Best Practices Portfolio

FEMA's Best Practices Portfolio is a collection of ideas for activities, projects, and potential funding sources that can help reduce or prevent the impacts of disasters. By sharing your first-hand experience of damaged areas, you help spread the word of how important, effective, and life-saving mitigation can be. Stories that focus on successful mitigation projects and practices implemented after a disaster may encourage communities and individuals to implement new mitigation efforts to prevent future damages.

Mitigation Products

FEMA Mitigation Products Library

Mitigation Planning

Pima County and its incorporated city, towns, and one tribe located within the county have joined forces to review and update the existing 2017 Pima County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The goal of mitigation planning is to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from natural hazard events. Mitigation is not how we respond to emergencies like floods and wildfires, but rather how we as a community prevents the impact of such things in the first place.

The mitigation planning process involves identifying and profiling the natural hazards most likely to occur in a community, assessing the vulnerability to these hazards, and establishing goals, actions, and projects that mitigate the associated risks. The update of this mitigation plan will also ensure continued eligibility for both emergency and non-emergency, federal, and state hazard mitigation grants.

As of November 3, 2022, the 2022 edition of the Pima County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan has been approved by FEMA. The plan is valid for five years.

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