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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 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

Practicalities of mitigation

Successful mitigation entails a number of fundamental changes in the attitudes of the people at risk, in the processes of creating and modifying the physical environment and in the physical layout of a community. These changes take time.

The nature of political administrations requires that projects resulting in tangible or demonstrable outputs within the lifetime of the administration (two, three, four years) are preferred. Many visible elements of mitigation can be achieved within that time span; engineering projects for hazard mitigation, building strengthening, changing the use of vulnerable structures, widening streets, for example, but these alone are unlikely to result in a sustainable reduction in risk. A balance of both immediately visible outputs and long term, sustainable benefits is needed.

There is no standard solution to mitigating a disaster risk.

Financial incentive schemes to reduce disaster risk requires a considerable government budget for disaster mitigation. The scale of the problem faced in trying to combat a large-scale hazard like earthquakes or tropical storms is the geographical extent of the zone at risk and the number of elements at risk in the region. Programs for housing upgrading, hazard education or community action is likely to involve millions of households. The resources necessary to accomplish this may be considerable.