Mitigation is the reduction of something harmful or the reduction of its harmful effects. It may refer to measures taken to reduce the harmful effects of hazards that remain in potentia, or to manage harmful incidents that have already occurred. It is a stage or component of emergency management and of risk management.
An all-hazards approach to disaster management considers all known hazards and their natural and anthropogenic potential risks and impacts, with the intention of ensuring that measures taken to mitigate against one type of risk do not increase vulnerability to other types of risks. Proactive disaster mitigation measures are generally more effective than reactive measures in eliminating or reducing the impacts, but not all disasters are reasonably foreseeable, and when an unforeseen disaster occurs, mitigation is necessarily after the fact. Proactive disaster mitigation measures may be structural or non-structural, and will generally be based on measurement and assessment of the risk and the cost of setting up the measures, and possibly the cost of maintenance. Mitigation planning identifies policies and actions that can be taken over the long term to reduce risk, and in the event of a disaster occurring, minimise loss. Such policies and actions are based on a risk assessment, using the identified hazards, vulnerabilities and probabilities of occurrence and estimates of impact to calculate risks, and are generally planned in cooperation with the stakeholder groups. The principles are applicable to mitigation of risk in general.
Planning processes may include:
- Stakeholder agreement on actions for risk reduction
- Assessment of relative risk and vulnerability
- Building partnerships among stakeholders
- Increasing awareness of hazards, vulnerabilities and risk
- Establishing priorities
- Aligning risk reduction and mitigation strategies with other objectives
Risk assessment and mitigation measures may include:
- Hazard mapping
- Flood plain mapping
- Land use and zoning practices
- Implementing and enforcing appropriate building codes
- Reinforced tornado safe rooms
- Burying of electrical cables to prevent ice build-up
- Raising of buildings in flood-prone areas
- Public awareness programs
- Insurance programs
- ^ Jump up to:ab “Mitigation”. www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Jump up to:ab c d e “Beyond the Basics: Best Practices in Local Mitigation Planning: Introduction”. mitigationguide.org.
- ^ Jump up to:ab “About Disaster Mitigation”. www.publicsafety.gc.ca. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- ^“Mitigation”. dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved 5 April 2020.