The nation has experienced vast losses from natural hazards. The potential for future events, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, demonstrates the importance of hazard mitigation--actions that reduce the long-term risks to life and property from natural hazard events. GAO was asked to examine (1) natural hazards that present a risk to life and property in the United States, areas that are most susceptible to them, factors that may be increasing these risks, and mitigation activities that reduce losses; (2) methods for encouraging and impediments to implementing mitigation activities; and (3) collaborative efforts of federal agencies and other stakeholders to promote mitigation. To address these objectives, GAO collected and analyzed hazard data, reviewed population information, conducted site visits to locations with comprehensive mitigation programs, and collected information from relevant agencies and officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Federal Emergency Management Agency||The Administrator of FEMA, in consultation with other appropriate federal agencies, should develop and maintain a national comprehensive strategic framework for mitigation that incorporates both pre- and postdisaster mitigation efforts. The framework should include items such as common mitigation goals; performance measures and reporting requirements; the role of specific activities in the overall framework; and the roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local agencies, and nongovernmental stakeholders.|