What is Hazard Mitigation?
The term “Hazard Mitigation” describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate risks that are caused by disasters or hazards. As the costs of disasters continue to rise, governments and citizens must find ways to reduce hazard risks to our communities. While mitigation activities can and should be taken before a disaster occurs, hazard mitigation is essential in post-disaster rebuilding. These efforts may “get things back to normal” but the replication of pre-disaster conditions may result in a repetitive cycle of damage and reconstruction. Hazard Mitigation breaks this repetitive cycle by producing less vulnerable conditions through post-disaster repairs and reconstruction.
What Are the Benefits?
- Reduces the loss of life, property, critical infrastructure and economic hardship
- Increases cooperation and communication within the community through the planning process
- Reduces short and long term recovery costs
Common mitigation actions that can be taken include the following:
- Enforcement of building codes, floodplain management codes and environmental regulations
- Public safety measures such as continual maintenance of roadways, dams and culverts
- Acquisition of hazard prone lands in their undeveloped state to ensure they remain that way
- Protecting critical facilities and infrastructure from future hazard events
- Mitigation, disaster recovery and continuity of operations planning
- Development and distribution of outreach materials related to hazard mitigation