Mitigation: How Do You Make People Care?

In spite of overwhelming evidence from the Multihazard Mitigation Council and others that resilient construction is a smart long-term decision, Americans routinely choose lower-cost conventional construction. Given the prevalence of these decisions in the face of high-profile and costly natural disasters, Americans are saying that resilience is not a high priority in building decisions. 

While building codes are an important tool for mandating improvements to the hazard resistance of buildings, this session will focus on more innovative ways to make people care about hazard mitigation. Three specific topics that are outside the realm of traditional mitigation implementation approaches will be explored: markets, behavioral science, and narratives. 

Markets involves the use of rating systems or properly-priced insurance to demonstrate the long-term economic value of hazard resistant construction. Behavioral science insights help us understand how biases shape people’s decisions and can be used as opportunities to increase adoption of hazard mitigation. Finally, powerful narratives can be a mechanism for communicating the importance of mitigation and can be spread through effective dissemination channels. Experts in each of these topics will share insights. A moderated panel discussion will follow.

11:35 AM - 12:05 PM
7 April 2020


Jeremy Gregory
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jamie Leigh Price
Mitigation Investment Lead, Risk Management Directorate within FIMA at FEMA