What is Hazard Mitigation?

Hazard Mitigation is any action taken to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters (natural, technological and man-made) according to FEMA. It is often considered the first of the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Mitigation measures fall into the following six general categories, and address both public and private property:

  • Emergency Services: Measures such as:
    • Communication systems
    • Emergency response
    • Hazard threat recognition
    • Hazard warning systems
    • Health and safety maintenance
    • Protection of critical facilities
  • Natural Resource Protection: Measures such as erosion and sediment control, stream corridor protection, vegetative management, and wetlands preservation
  • Prevention: Measures such as:
    • Building codes
    • Development regulations
    • Fire fuel reduction
    • Open space preservation
    • Planning and zoning
    • Sediment control
    • Soil erosion
    • Storm water management
  • Property Protection: Measures such as:
    • Acquisition
    • Barriers
    • Flood-proofing
    • Insurance
    • Rebuilding
    • Relocation
    • Storm shutters
    • Structural retrofits for high winds and earthquake hazards
  • Public Education and Awareness: Measures such as outreach projects, real estate disclosure, hazard information centers, technical assistance, and school age and adult education programs
  • Structural Projects: Measures such as:
    • Bulkheads
    • Buttresses
    • Channel modifications
    • Dams
    • Debris basins
    • Elevated roadways (seismic protection)
    • High flow diversions
    • Levees
    • Retaining walls
    • Retrofitted buildings
    • Revetments
    • Seawalls
    • Spillways
    • Storm sewers

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1. What is Hazard Mitigation?