In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Iowa floods and other recent natural disasters, federal, state and local disaster responses have been put to the test, and in many cases, revealed their limitations. Among the many lessons learned, these circumstances have emphasized the need for greater pre-disaster mitigation measures for homes: technologies, services and practices to help reduce the likelihood of property damage and loss of human life from natural disasters. Government intervention is particularly needed to assist low- and moderate-income households and communities that may have difficulty paying for the necessary home mitigation measures.
Click on the boxes below to learn more about ways to implement this strategy.
Promote “Smarter and Safer” Building and Rehabilitation Practices
Provide support to builders, contractors and households to encourage disaster-resistant construction and home improvements.
Improve Community Regulations and Planning Strategies
Develop and enforce stronger residential building codes, and implement land use planning practices that will lead to safer and stronger homes.
Finance Efforts to Make Homes More Resistant to Natural Disasters
Use federal, state and local resources to finance and incentivize the construction and upgrading of disaster-resistant homes.
Link Efforts to Improve Disaster Resistance and Energy Efficiency
Combine technologies and financing sources to help communities build both safer and greener.
Photo credits (clockwise from upper left): Villas on Sixth, Austin TX — photo courtesy of City of Austin/Neighborhood Housing and Community Development; Iscani Subdivision, Anadarko OK — photo courtesy of Wichita Housing Authority and Travois, Inc.; White Laurel, Boone NC — photo courtesy of
Todd Bush Photography/Northwestern Housing Enterprises; Fall Creek Place, Indianapolis IN — photo courtesy of Chris Palladino/Mansur Real Estate Services, Inc.This Toolkit is made possible with the generous support of WeatherPredict Consulting. The Center for Housing Policy gratefully acknowledges the input and feedback provided for this policy section by the following reviewers (in alphabetical order): Lisa Blackwell, National Multi Housing Council; Leslie Chapman-Henderson, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes; Mike Cohen, RenaissanceRe; Jennifer Fogel-Bublick, McBee Strategic; Deborah Ingram, Federal Emergency Management Agency; Sharlene Leurig, Ceres; Denise B. Muha, National Leased Housing Association; Ann Roberson, SC Safe Home; Jim Schwab, American Planning Association; Michele Steinberg, National Fire Protection Association; Craig Tillman, WeatherPredict Consulting; Fred Tombar, U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tami Torres, My Safe Florida Home; Eric Vaughn, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.