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Comparing predisaster mitigation grant spending with postdisaster assistance spending: Are mitigation investments saving federal dollars?

Katharina Renken, PhD, Andrea M. Jackman, PhD, Mario G. Beruvides, PhD, PE


This work is a companion paper to “Quantifying the Relationship Between Predisaster Mitigation Spending and Major Disaster Declarations for US States and Territories.” Mitigation is a relatively new undertaking, especially for local jurisdictions, within the United States disaster policy. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires local jurisdictions to plan for and implement mitigative strategies in order to access federal grant funding options for emergency management. After DMA 2000 went into effect in the mid-2000s, a supporting study by the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council (MMC 2005) found that on average, mitigation projects yielded a benefit-cost ratio of 4:1 at the local level.1 This paper evaluates and compares predisaster mitigation spending and postdisaster assistance spending at the state and FEMA Regional levels, hypothesizing that as mitigation spending increases, postdisaster spending should decrease. The results however indicate the opposite, with most states showing increasing in both types of spending over time.


disaster management, mitigation, emergency management, hazard mitigation, postdisaster assistance

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