The term “Hazard Mitigation” describes actions that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by hazards, such as floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Hazard mitigation is best accomplished when based on a comprehensive, long-term plan developed before a disaster strikes.
As the costs of disaster impacts continue to rise, governments and citizens must find ways to reduce hazard risks to our communities. Oftentimes after disasters, repairs and reconstruction are often completed in such a way as to simply restore damaged property to pre-disaster conditions. These efforts may “get things back to normal,” but the replication of pre-disaster conditions often results in a repetitive cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Hazard mitigation breaks this repetitive cycle by producing less vulnerable conditions through pre- and post- disaster repairs and reconstruction. The implementation of such hazard mitigation actions now by state and local governments means building stronger, safer, and smarter communities that will be able to reduce future injuries and damages.