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close this bookAn Overview of Disaster Management (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1992, 136 p.)
close this folderChapter 13. Mitigation 1
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTargeting mitigation where it has most effect
View the documentActions to reduce risk
View the documentThe menu of mitigation actions
View the documentClassification of mitigation measures
View the documentTiming for mitigation

Actions to reduce risk

Ö Reduce the hazard or reduce vulnerability

Protection against the threats of disaster can be achieved by modifying or removing the causes of the threat, (reducing the hazard) or by reducing the effects of the threat if it occurs (reducing the vulnerability of elements affected). For most types of natural disasters, it is impossible to prevent the actual event from occurring. The focus of mitigation policies against these hazards is primarily on reducing the vulnerability of elements that are likely to be affected. Obviously, some natural hazards can be reduced. The construction of levees along a riverbank is an example of risk reduction.

Ö Tools, powers and budgets

It is evident that risk reduction is complex and needs to be built up through a range of activities happening together. Governments, for example, can employ a wide range of tools and use their powers in many ways to influence the safety of the community. Legislative powers, administrative functions, spending and project initiation are all part of the tools they can employ to bring about change. Powers of persuasion are sometimes classified into two types: passive and active. These are summarized toward the end of this chapter. Another power of persuasion is diplomacy, perhaps the most useful tool to mitigate against warfare or civil conflict.