Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk).  Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security and self-reliance.


Shared Responsibility

Recognizing that preparedness is a shared responsibility, it calls for the involvement everyone—not just the government—in preparedness efforts. By working together, everyone can keep the nation safe from harm and resilient when struck by hazards, such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and pandemics.

Whole Community includes:

  • Individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs
  • Businesses
  • Faith-based and community organizations
  • Nonprofit groups
  • Schools and academia
  • Media outlets
  • All levels of government, including state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal partners

The phrase “whole community” appears a lot in preparedness materials, as it is one of the guiding principles. It means two things:

  1. Involving people in the development of the national preparedness documents.
  2. Ensuring their roles and responsibilities are reflected in the content of the materials.
  3. Disasters can happen at anytime and anyplace; their human and financial consequences are hard to predict.
  4. The number of disasters each year is increasing but only 50% of events trigger federal assistance.
  5. FEMA’s mitigation programs help reduce the impact of events—and our dependence on taxpayers and the Treasury for disaster relief.

FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and implements a variety of programs authorized by Congress to reduce losses that may result from natural disasters. Effective mitigation efforts can break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction and repeated damage. FEMA’s mitigation and insurance efforts are organized into three primary activities that help states, tribes, territories and localities achieve the highest level of mitigation: Risk Analysis, Risk Reduction and Risk Insurance. Through these activities and FEMA’s day-to-day work across the country, communities are able to make better mitigation decisions before, between and after disasters.

  • 2012-2014 FEMA Mitigation and Insurance Strategic Plan 
    (September 2011)
    The FEMA Mitigation and Insurance Strategic Plan for 2012-2014 identifies critical goals, objectives and strategies to enhance the way FEMA carries out its mitigation and insurance mission.The plan is designed to help build and sustain collaboration with federal, state, tribal, territorial and community partners through a strategic framework that guides day-to-day work leading to stronger, more resilient communities nationwide.