National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Releases Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report

 Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report

Based on research conducted over the past year, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Multi-hazard Mitigation Council (MMC) has determined new benefit cost ratios (BCRs) from implementing mitigation strategies.  This work is an update and expansion of the previous 2005 NIBS MMC Study that determined the mitigation Benefits Cost Ratio (BCR) to be a ratio of 4:1 where “For every $1 spent by FEMA on hazard mitigation, it is $4 in future benefits.”

Released on January 11, 2018, the mitigation concepts analyzed in the Natural Hazard Mitigation Strategies: 2017 Interim Report include: pre- and post-disaster federal hazard mitigation grants data, and designing new buildings to exceed select requirements of the 2015 International Codes (I-codes).

The results show that, on average, mitigation grants funded through select federal government agencies can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation.  Additionally, the report demonstrates that, on average, investments in hazard mitigation measures that exceed provisions of the 2015 model building code can save the Nation $4 for every $1 spent.

The Study shows a savings of $15.5 Billion from one year of building new construction beyond code requirements and $158 Billion in savings from federally funded mitigation grant programs funded from 1993-2016.

The hazard categories covered in this Study are riverine flood, hurricane surge, wind, earthquake, and Wildland-Urban Interface Fire.  The Study includes a Summary of Findings which is available separately from the main report for the non-technical reader. The main report takes a technical in-depth look at the data and analyses that were done to produce the benefit-cost ratios.

This study was made possible by funding by several federal agencies that provided mitigation funding. These are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), International Code Council (ICC), Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Check out the full Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report for more study specifics.

FEMA Seeks Your Comment about Mitigation Investment Strategies

The release the 2017 Interim Report coincided with another initiative that FEMA and other federal agencies are launched on January 11 as well. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) to develop a National Mitigation Investment Strategy (Investment Strategy) and seek public comment.

The Draft Investment Strategy makes a series of recommendations, organized by six desired outcomes which – if met – could result in a nation better equipped for, and less vulnerable to, natural hazards.  The Draft Investment Strategy provides a national approach to investments in mitigation activities and risk management across federal, state, local, and territorial and tribal government and the private and non-profit sectors. 

The MitFLG invites ideas about investment from all levels of government and key stakeholders, including private businesses, citizens, vulnerable and at-risk populations, critical infrastructure sectors, and non-profit, academic, and philanthropic organizations. Public comments on the draft strategy’s proposed outcomes--and how as a nation we can deliver those outcomes—is vital.

The Draft Investment Strategy is available on the National Mitigation Framework website at Comments on the draft Investment Strategy will be accepted from January 11 through March 11, 2018 either through email to or through the IdeaScale site at