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Hazard Mitigation is sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards and their effects. (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

When a road washes out, does it make more sense to rebuild it the way it was, or make it "better than it was" so that it doesn't wash out next spring? Building it better is hazard mitigation. When a homeowner puts his furnace up on blocks to avoid water in the basement, or a community moves whole neighborhoods out of harm's way, that too is mitigation.

When a community makes good development decisions based on a goal of long-term disaster resistance and resilience, that perhaps is the most effective mitigation strategy of all.

When considering ways to reduce risk from a natural disaster, we also need to think about whether those steps will be cost-effective: will we save money over the long term if we invest in this solution now.



Last update: 07/10/08