The Polis Center at IUPUI Plays Huge Role in New Natural Hazard Mitigation 2017 Interim Report

On January 10, 2018, more than a decade after releasing its original report on mitigation, the National Institute of Building Sciences issued Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report. The 2017 Interim Report highlights the benefits of two mitigation strategies.

The Institute’s project team looked at the results of 23 years of federally-funded mitigation grants provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA,) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and found mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation.

In addition, the project team looked at scenarios that focus on designing new buildings to exceed provisions of the 2015 model building codes. The 2017 Interim Report demonstrates that investing in hazard mitigation measures to exceed select requirements of the 2015 International Codes (I-Codes), the model building codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC), can save the nation $4 for every $1 spent.

The project team estimated that just implementing these two sets of mitigation strategies would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million nonfatal injuries and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the long term. In addition, designing new buildings to exceed the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) would result in 87,000 new, long-term jobs and an approximate 1% increase in utilization of domestically produced construction material.

“The Polis Center at IUPUI played a significant role in the development of this report by conducting the analysis associated with the riverine flood hazard,” said Kevin Mickey, Director of Professional Development and Geospatial Technology Education. Kevin served as one of the lead investigators, directing a team of experts in conducting this analysis.

“To determine the effectiveness of federally-funded mitigation grants, the Polis team examined a sample of grants associated with acquiring or demolishing flood-prone buildings, especially single-family homes, manufactured homes, and 2- to 4-family dwellings. We also analyzed the cost effectiveness of designing new buildings to exceed provisions of the 2015 model building codes. Specifically, we explored the effectiveness of building new homes higher than the base flood elevation (BFE) required by the 2015 International Building Code.”

The work conducted by Polis suggests an even higher than average savings both for selected types of federally-funded mitigation grants and for implementation of beyond code requirements for new construction to exceed selected code provisions.

To read more about the report and see full publication visit,

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