Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hazard mitigation can save money

23.01.2006


An ounce of prevention may actually be worth a pound of cure, especially if the actions taken are to reduce losses from natural hazards, such as tornados, hurricanes or flooding, according to a Penn State researcher.



"Our analysis found that for each dollar spent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for grants to mitigate the effects of natural hazards, approximately $4 was saved from what would have eventually been spent on correcting damages," says Dr. Adam Rose, professor of geography. "Currently, the grants we studied, if extrapolated to all FEMA grants over the 10-year period ending in mid-2003, would save over $14 billion."

Rose led a research team conducting the study component that focused on the Benefit-Cost Analysis of FEMA mitigation grants. The team was assembled by the Applied Technology Council for the Multihazard Mitigation Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences. The MMC was funded to conduct this work, "Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities," by FEMA in response to a request from the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.


In essence, for every dollar spent on mitigation, on average, four dollars would not need to be spent in the future to repair the damage and to compensate for death and injury caused by natural hazards. The report noted that grants to mitigate the damages done by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes from 1993 to 2003 are expected to save more than 220 lives and prevent nearly 4,700 injuries over about 50 years.

The researchers looked at two types of grants in this study. One type provided funding for physical measures intended to reduce damage directly – including reinforcement against wind and earthquakes and raising buildings subject to flooding, for example. The other type provided funding for activities leading to hazard mitigation policies, practices and projects – including risk assessment, education and building codes.

The researchers looked at both types of FEMA grants across the board to get a generalizable picture of the effects and at FEMA grants in a community context. The community studies included all grants received since 1988 by the selected communities. In both parts of the study, the researchers used cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the effects. Looking at benefits, from the point of view of losses to the society that were avoided by mitigation, they considered reductions in property damage, direct and indirect business interruption, loss of human life, cost of emergency response and environmental damage.

Another benefit was the reduction in tax revenue losses due to economic disruption caused by natural hazard damage. Reducing the cost of emergency response by FEMA and avoiding losses in tax revenues, frees up monies for other uses by other federal government agencies.

"The study found that hazard mitigation grants were cost-effective and reduced future losses from natural hazards," says Rose.

"This type of grant provides a significant net benefit to society and a significant net savings to the U.S. treasury."

An interesting side effect is that communities that benefited from FEMA mitigation grants also generally had additional, non-federally-funded mitigation activities. Also, communities that institutionalized mitigation programs showed the greatest benefit.

A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>