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close this bookDisaster Mitigation - 2nd Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 64 p.)
close this folderPart 1 - Introduction to mitigation concepts
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe sanitary revolution: a paradigm for disaster mitigation
View the documentKnow your enemy: hazards and their effects
View the documentSaving life and reducing economic disruption
View the documentTargeting mitigation where it has most effect
View the documentVulnerability
Open this folder and view contentsSpecific Hazards and Mitigation
View the documentSUMMARY


Houses built from cane and thatch that can be blown apart in a tropical storm are more vulnerable to wind loads than a brick building. A brick building is more likely to disintegrate with the violent ground shaking of an earthquake than a strong reinforced concrete frame structure (or a cane and thatch hut) and is more vulnerable to earthquake hazard. Vulnerability is the degree of expected damage from a particular hazard. Targeting mitigation efforts relies heavily on correctly assessing vulnerability. Vulnerability assessment is discussed in more detail in the module on Vulnerability and Risk Assessment.

This concept of vulnerability assessment can also be extended to social groups or economic sectors: People who rent their houses rely on a landlord to repair the damage and are more likely to be made homeless in the event of a disaster. Correctly identifying the groups of tenants and establishing rights of tenure and landlords' obligations to repair may reduce the number of people made homeless in a disaster. Similarly, food growers sending their produce to market through a single mountain pass will be unable to sell their produce if the pass is blocked. Developing an alternative route to market will reduce the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to damage by disaster.

Q. What factors must be known in order to determine the most effective areas to initiate mitigation activities?




In order to determine the areas where mitigation activities will be most effective one must know what the elements at risk are, where they are located and the vulnerability of these elements to the expected level of hazard.