The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) strongly supports Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness: Working Drafts of the National Planning Frameworks - Mitigation Framework, which was drafted by the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA), the organization reports.

“IBHS commends DHS/FEMA’s efforts to elevate the importance of mitigation and its role in preventing, protecting against, reducing the effects of, responding to, and recovering from those things that pose the greatest risk to the overall well-being of our nation,” said Debra Ballen, IBHS general counsel and SVP of public policy.

“The Presidential Policy Directive is designed to facilitate an integrated, all-of-nation/whole community, capabilities-based approach to preparedness. Involving federal partners, state, local and tribal leaders, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, faith-based and community organizations—and most importantly the general public—is vital to keeping people and communities safe and preventing the loss of life and property when disasters strike,” according to FEMA.

IBHS noted the concepts that are especially important to advancing effective mitigation:

The need for active engagement by all stakeholders (individuals, the private sector, communities, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, all levels of government);

The benefits of changing our culture from one where decisions are made without an awareness of the risks to one where all planning, decision-making and development occur with embedded risk management;

The importance of partnerships that are not focused only on particular incidents or events but which occur well before, during and after events;

The need to reduce duplication and encourage complementary efforts by taking advantage of the wealth of existing information on mitigation;

Reasons not to be content with only existing information, but instead, to develop new ways to stop increasing the trajectory of our risk and start taking steps to reduce it;

The importance of weaving mitigation as the thread that permeates the National Preparedness System;

The key role of hazard and vulnerability assessment as the bases for understanding and managing risk; and

The recognition that mitigation is a process of continuous learning, adapting to change, managing risk, measuring success and evaluating progress.

IBHS also supports the Mitigation Interagency Task Force (MIT-Force) as a mechanism to coordinate mitigation programs across the federal government and monitor the effectiveness of mitigation capabilities as they are developed and deployed, said the organization.

“The MIT-Force has the potential to reduce duplication and encourage complementary efforts within the federal government and between the federal government and its partners,” Ballen said. “IBHS welcomes the opportunity to work with the MIT-Force to help create stronger, safer communities that are prepared for disasters.”

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