It has been proven over and over again that the impacts of natural hazards can be lessened and even eliminated by appropriate actions taken well before the hazardous event.
The most effective way to ensure that this action takes place is the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan. Hazard Mitigation Planning is the process that analyzes a community's risk from natural hazards, coordinates available resources, and implements actions to eliminate risk. A local mitigation plan should be prepared before a disaster to guide risk reduction activities before an event; it should also be reviewed, and amended if necessary, regularly to prevent the loss of significant mitigation opportunities.
The disaster mitigation process has four steps:
- Assessing risks;
- Organizing resources;
- Developing a mitigation plan; and
- Implementing the plan and monitoring progress.