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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.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUnited Nations reorganization and the Disaster Management Training Programme
View the documentIntroduction
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
close this folderSpecific Hazards and Mitigation
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFloods and water hazards
View the documentEarthquakes
View the documentVolcanic eruption
View the documentLand instabilities
View the documentStrong winds (typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms and tornados)
View the documentTechnological hazards
View the documentDrought and desertification
View the documentSUMMARY
close this folderPart 2 - Actions to reduce risk
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentReducing hazard vs reducing vulnerability
View the documentTools, powers and budgets
View the documentCommunity-based mitigation
View the documentThe menu of mitigation actions
View the documentSUMMARY
close this folderPart 3 - Mitigation strategies
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAims and methods
View the documentEconomics of mitigation
View the documentPracticalities of mitigation
View the documentOpportunities for mitigation: post-disaster implementation
View the documentEmpowerment and community-based mitigation
View the documentSUMMARY
close this folderPart 4 - Implementing organizations
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBuilding up skills and institutions
View the documentThe regional context: a problem shared
View the documentInternational exchange of expertise
View the documentSupporting decision-making: external specialists
View the documentKnowledge dissemination
View the documentInternational decade for natural disaster reduction
View the documentDisaster mitigation in UNDP country programming
View the documentInitial phases of the UNDP country programming exercise
View the documentSUMMARY
View the documentAnnex 1: Profile of selected United Nations agencies and their activities in disaster mitigation
View the documentAnnex 2: Acronyms
View the documentAnnex 3: Additional reading
View the documentGlossary
View the documentModule evaluation


introduction to mitigation concepts

The essential first step in any mitigation strategy is to understand the nature of the hazards which may be faced.

The list of hazards and their order of importance is different for each country and region, and may even vary from village to village. Existing studies and mapping may help to identify the most significant hazards in any one area.

Understanding each hazard requires comprehension of:

- its causes
- its geographical distribution, magnitude or severity, and probable frequency of occurrence
- the physical mechanisms of destruction
- the elements and activities most vulnerable to destruction
- the possible economic and social consequences of the disaster

Mitigation involves not only saving lives and injury and reducing property losses, but also reducing the adverse consequences of natural hazards to economic activities and social institutions.

Where resources for mitigation are limited, they should be targeted where they will be most effective - on the most vulnerable elements and in support of existing community level activities.

Vulnerability assessment is a crucial aspect of planning effective mitigation. Vulnerability implies both susceptibility to physical and economic damage and lack of resources for rapid recovery.

To reduce physical vulnerability weak elements may be protected or strengthened. To reduce the vulnerability of social institutions and economic activities, infrastructure may need to be modified or strengthened or institutional arrangements modified.