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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

Aims and methods

The aim of a mitigation strategy is to reduce losses in the event of a future occurrence of a hazard. The primary aim is to reduce the risk of death and injury to the population. Secondary aims include reducing damage and economic losses inflicted on public sector infrastructure and reducing private sector losses in as far as they are likely to affect the community as a whole. The objectives are likely to include encouragement for people to protect themselves as far as possible.

Any mitigation strategy is likely to include a range of measures from the menu of actions outlined in Part 2. A set of actions that includes some engineering measures, some spatial planning, and a degree of economic, management and societal inputs will be needed to bring about effective mitigation. A mitigation program that concentrates solely on any one of these five aspects will be unbalanced and is unlikely to achieve its aims.

A mitigation strategy has to be designed for its proposed application. Disaster mitigation programs carried out in the Philippines are unlikely to be directly transferrable to Peru. There are few standard solutions. Some individual elements and techniques of mitigation will be transferrable - compulsory purchase techniques for widening roads in dense urban areas that have been used in Peru may be of interest to the planners in the Philippines - but the full range of measures needed to reduce disaster potential for an individual application is likely to be unique. In each country the range of hazards faced are likely to be different. The types of infrastructure, houses and other elements at risk will have their own characteristics. The types of actions that are possible including the legislative framework, the social attitude to the problem and the budget that is available will specify what constitutes an effective mitigation program.