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What is Hazard Mitigation?

The term "Hazard Mitigation" describes any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risks to life and property from natural, human-made, and technological hazards such as flood, earthquake, fire, utility interruption, severe weather, and terrorism. Efforts made to reduce a community's vulnerability to hazards should be compatible with local community goals; mitigation is most effective when it is a part of the larger responsibility of the government, individuals, private businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Why is Hazard Mitigation Important?

Hazard mitigation breaks the cycle. When the same kind of disaster occurs in the same place, like flooding along streams and rivers, it can cause repeated damage and require repeated reconstruction. This reconstruction and repair becomes more expensive over time. Hazard mitigation breaks this costly cycle of recurrent damage and reconstruction by taking a long-term view of rebuilding and recovering following disasters. Hazard mitigation builds a safer community from the beginning.

Types of Hazard Mitigation

Hazard mitigation in Pennsylvania is commonly broken into four different categories:

Plans and Regulations: These actions authorities, policies, or codes that influence the way land and buildings are developed and built. 

Structure and Infrastructure:  These actions involve modifying existing structures and infrastructure or constructing new structures to reduce hazard vulnerability.

Natural Systems Protection: These are actions that minimize damage and losses and also preserve or restore the functions of natural systems.

Education and Awareness: These are actions to inform and educate students, faculty, and the community about hazards and potential ways to mitigate them, and may also include participation in national programs.