When communities prioritize mitigation before a flood, they help keep their residents safe, decrease recovery costs, and minimize the harm to local economies and the environment. Since 2000, flood-related disasters in the U.S. have cost more than $850 billion, and experts predict that these events will increase in frequency and intensity.
Research shows that every $1 invested in mitigation saves an average of $6 in recovery costs, but mitigation efforts, such as removing properties from flood-prone areas, increasing green space, and restoring and protecting flood plains, remain insufficient nationwide. All levels of government must invest in policies and programs that encourage communities to minimize the cost and devastation of floods.
For more information on Pew’s work to support pre-disaster mitigation and how communities across the country are implementing policies and plans, see the resources below.