The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released the “National Mitigation Investment Strategy: Mitigation Framework Leadership Group” report, which focuses on the role of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) in achieving the mitigation core capabilities of the National Mitigation Framework. The MitFLG is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the National Mitigation Investment Strategy (NMIS/Investment Strategy), and also evaluating the implementation process and results. In order to bring the Investment Strategy’s goals to reality, the MitFLG is using a three-pronged approach:
- Show How Mitigation Investments Reduce Risk
- Coordinate Mitigation Investments to Reduce Risk
- Make Mitigation Investment Standard Practice
The Investment Strategy comes three years after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report in which GAO found that mitigation investments in the post-Hurricane Sandy response were not coordinated within the Federal Government nor the whole community (which includes the Federal Government, nonfederal partners, and individuals). But even prior to Hurricane Sandy, the report finds that, “since 1980, 246 weather-related disasters in the United States caused at least $1 billion in damage each. Damage from these ‘billion-dollar disasters’ together totaled over $1.6 trillion.” As such, the National Mitigation Investment Strategy can save both lives and money through direct investments and property buy-outs in high-risk areas, investing in safety and security measures, and investing in the collection and sharing of data. The report admits that the Investment Strategy has “ambitious but achievable goals”, citing that success requires “maximum participation from the whole community”. Yet, as risks and damage from natural hazards both continue the increase, the Investment Strategy and the efforts of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group will lead to greater resilience for the livelihood of citizens, the economy, and the environment.
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Author: Kendall Scherr