Disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation are the goals of nations throughout the world during the 1990's. The United States will lead this cooperative effort and marshall its national resources to reduce the disaster potential of earthquakes, floods, windstorms, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires. These natural hazards cause annual losses of approximately $10 billion in the United States and many times that throughout the world. The type and severity of the hazard varies from State-to-State in the United States. All States are at risk from flooding from sources such as precipitation, snowmelt, thunderstorms, and, along the coast, the storm surges generated in hurricanes. No State is free from the potential impacts of ground shaking induced by earthquakes, although the frequency of damaging earthquakes is much greater in Alaska and California than in the remainder of the Nation. Landslides also occur in all the States and Territories. The Western States are potentially vulnerable from wildfires and volcanic eruptions. Damaging tsunamis in the past have struck Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The goal of the Decade is to keep such occurrences in the future from being disasters.

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