Developing Pre-Disaster Community Resilience Through Public and Private Incentives

Developing Pre-Disaster Resilience Based on Public and Private Incentivization was published as a ground-breaking work that describes how the nation can achieve resilience in a cost-effective manner for hazards through a holistic and integrated set of public, private and hybrid programs that incentivize action. The case for incentivization has been reinforced with a new study for Florida wind hazards in which the returns on investments are 4 times the costs. Insurance plays a unique role in helping to provide incentives. Examples include:

  • USAA is providing a discount on homeowner’s insurance premiums for its members who live in recognized Firewise Communities.
  • Residents of the Village of South Holland, IL receive a 25% discount on Federal Flood Insurance, and, a 25% rebate on flood control projects, with a maximum rebate of $2,500 per home.
  • MyStrongHome provides financing for residential mitigation using insurance premiums reductions to pay for the cost of construction within a five year period.
  • Zurich Insurance Group has endorsed risk-based insurance that could be coupled with long-term loans tied to the property to enhance resilience.
  • Zurich also proposes that means-tested vouchers be used by property owners to cover part of the cost of a multi-year loan to invest in mitigation measures, and cover a portion of a risk-based insurance premium.

The purpose of this project is to provide a survey of incentives provided with the ultimate goal of assessing the effectiveness of the incentives.

Project Mentor

Philip Schneider, AIA Director, Multihazard Mitigation Council
Jim Jones

Competencies needed by the students involved

  • An understanding of insurance and underwriting
  • Analytical skills – manipulate data and apply statistical analysis
  • Knowledge of building a survey
  • Research – identify current market options as well as gauge interest in this
  • Creativity and Innovation – thinking outside of the box and having FUN doing it!


  • Gather & analyze market data on overall awareness of incentives
  • Determine if there is any correlation between credit given and consumer behavior

Final Deliverable

  • A research report that identifies and analyzes the incentives provided.