It's Official: Planning Helps to Reduce Property Losses

Burby, Raymond
August 2005
Planning;Aug/Sep2005, Vol. 71 Issue 8, p18
Trade Publication
The article discusses how planning can help reduce property losses due to natural disasters. Insurance companies paid out more than $26 billion for disaster-related claims arising from losses to residential property between 1994 and 2000. But that amount could have been reduced if local planning were mandatory throughout the U.S. Planning could have helped to reduce losses from location-specific natural hazards, but also from hazards that must be dealt with primarily through building codes and site design standards. Plans provide a systematic way to marshal facts about natural hazards, increase public awareness of the risks, and improve the likelihood that these risks will be considered in future planning and in the design and location of public infrastructure and private development. Plans can provide a formal means to assess existing mitigation measures; to gauge whether government procedures and personnel will be able to enforce regulations; and to review the institutional and legal infrastructure needed to bring about mitigation.


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