Improving Decision Making about Natural Disaster Mitigation Funding in Australia—A Framework

This article by Robin C. van den Honert appeared in MDPI  Resources 2016, 5(3), 28; doi:10.3390/resources5030028.


Economic losses from natural disasters pose significant challenges to communities and to the insurance industry. Natural disaster mitigation aims to reduce the threat to people and assets from natural perils. Good decisions relating to hazard risk mitigation require judgements both about the scientific and financial issues involved, i.e., the efficacy of some intervention, and the ethical or value principles to adopt in allocating resources. A framework for selecting a set of mitigation options within a limited budget is developed. Project selection about natural disaster mitigation options needs to trade off benefits offered by alternative investments (e.g., fatalities and injuries avoided, potential property and infrastructure losses prevented, safety concerns of citizens, etc.) against the costs of investment. Such costs include capital and on-going operational costs, as well as intangible costs, such as the impact of the project on the visual landscape or the loss of societal cohesion in the event of the relocation of part of a community. Furthermore, dollar costs of any potential project will need to be defined within some prescribed budget and time frame. Taking all of these factors into account, this paper develops a framework for good natural hazard mitigation decision making and selection. View Full-Text