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Hazard Mitigation

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  • Pages: 9
  • Word count: 2057
  • Category: Disasters

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            Mitigation is the acting before a disaster strikes to prevent permanently the occurrence of the disaster or to reduce the effects of the disaster when it occurs and also used effectively after a disaster to reduce the risk of a repeat disaster. The hazard mitigation and preparedness is designed to introduce the students and the public of the major principles involved in preparing for and mitigating the impacts of hazards in the context of emergency management.  The text also defines the basic terms and concepts, and describes the key features and characteristics of various hazards, both natural and man made that can affect our communities. It also provides examples of various tools and techniques available to emergency managers to prevent or lessen property damage and risk to human life caused by disasters.

            A plan has been intended to identify feasible strategies to reduce the potential loss of life, human suffering, and loss of property from the hazards identified. The mitigation planning is a process for states and communities to identify policies, activities and tools to implement mitigation actions and it has four steps: organizing resources; assessing risks; developing a mitigation plan; and implementing the plan and monitoring progress.

            The hazard mitigation grant program was created in 1988 by the disaster relief and the emergency   assistance act. It assists states and local communities in implementing long- term mitigation measures following a presidential disaster declaration. The hazard mitigation grant program deals with natural phenomena such as floods, tornadoes, and drought and water problem in Alabama which are considered a fact of life based upon our climatic and geo- physical conditions. The hazards associated with these potential disaster producing events become tangible when a risk factor is applied.

The risk of an event causing significant damage or destruction increases significantly with expanded development patterns and the land use encroachment. The natural hazards such as flooding or tornadoes hold little threat to life or the property in a sparsely populated environment. While we can not control the occurrence of events, we can directly influence the severity of the impact by initiating pre- disaster long- term hazard mitigation planning, principles, and practices- in reality, taking action to break the repetitive cycle of damage, reconstruction, and the recurrence of damages to the same locality or facility. Mitigation is considered as a post- disaster activity, damages occur, recovery takes place, and then questions arise as to why it happened and what can be done to correct any problems. Therefore the mitigation actions are intended to eliminate or lessen the impact of a recurring event upon life and property.

            This program can be used to fund projects to protect either public or private property, so long as the project in question fit within the state and the local government’s overall mitigation strategy for the disaster area, and comply with program guidelines. The eligibility for funding is limited to state and the local governments, certain private nonprofit organizations or institutions that serve a public function and authorized tribal organizations and they apply for the program project funding on behalf of their citizens. In turn, applicants must work through the state, since the state is responsible for setting priorities for funding and administering the program. Policy memos and standard operation procedures are available to assist local governments and their consultants in developing and implementing the program project.

 Hazard is any thing that can make one ill. In our every day life we deal with hazards walking across busy streets, driving and playing.

       The principles of the program includes:  it will be permanent, voluntary association, open to any and all local governments and community –based organizations with interests in these disasters;  it will consider without partiality, the interests of all sectors and  areas participating in the planning and programming effort; the activities will be based on continuing cooperation and collaboration among all sectors of the  community; it will seek implementation of mitigation initiatives based only on the objective and the scientifically valid information.

       Also the program’s priorities will be commensurate with predicted risk posed by hazards threatening and vulnerabilities of the community; it will seek to address the vulnerabilities to all types of hazards that threaten the area, population, economic sector, or community; the mitigation initiatives proposed through the program will be intended to minimize the harm  to  people, community services and functions; mitigation initiatives will be cost- effective, while striving to weigh both the tangible and intangible values of the community; mitigation plans and programs of the program will seek to  balance the use of government regulation, voluntary cooperation, economic incentives, community awareness, and individual responsibility; and  community acceptable and the understanding of the program’s plans and projects will be fostered through trust in the credibility and integrity of its operations.

Main Hazard Types

                      Tornadoes –in Alabama most of this hazard takes place during the late afternoon and the evening hours. During one time these tornadoes occurred and brought 86 persons death, 949 were injured and damages were very extreme. The major tornado activity began when a storm touched the ground and plowed viciously northeastward and it was described as  big and powerful and taking everything in its path. As this tornado was dissipating, the final storms of the outbreak began their havoc. The tornado leads to a lot of destruction causing people working in weather service offices to abandon their hectic duties and a final two tornadoes killed 28, injured 332, and, destroyed or heavily damaged over 850 buildings, 250 mobile homes, and 60 small businesses.

                         Flooding – flooding in Alabama have left at least 3,700 people homeless and killed nine others this town remained a muddy pond after its levee failed. This flooding has been very severe compared to the floods that have been affecting the place over the past. The floods took place unpredictable and therefore the people in the affected town were unable to get any of their properties but also losses of life took place. In an area in this town also 1,500 people lost their lives and the calculation of the loss of the property is unpredictable for those two rain days that affected these areas

Water shortage- in Alabama water has been a problem affecting most of the people in the areas that border this city and the city itself. Water is an important essential in the lives of people, animals and all living things. Lack of water means that most of the important activities like in the industries have to stop and therefore many people end up losing their jobs and at the same time lack important things in lives. These three hazards has been a threat to the Alabama people and the government has lost a lot in trying to curb them and also the people are always affected like for the case of floods that   brings a lot of dangerous diseases like typhoid, diarrhea and other water borne diseases that are threat to the people.

Mitigation strategies

                    The planning goals including: save lives and reduce public exposure to risk; reduce or prevent damage to public and private property; reduce adverse environmental or natural resource impacts; and reduce the financial impact on public agencies and society. The objectives includes: enhancing coordination of agencies and the consistency of damage reduction policy-  it depends on the cooperative action of the federal, state, and local agencies, each of which bear important responsibilities for the flood mitigation. By better coordinating the activities and policies of these various agencies, this plan seeks too help each agency focus its resources so that its activities will complement those of other agencies. Improved coordination will also benefit flood mitigation efforts by allowing each agency to benefit through improved access to the special knowledge and resources other agencies may have regarding flood damage reduction. Sharing of knowledge and resources increases the effectiveness of local jurisdictions which often lack the staff or the resources to monitor and implement technical requirements.

                          Another objective is to increase the knowledge of flood hazards, flood hazard mitigation approaches and the impacts of land uses, flood damage reduction and the repair and resource management practices on watershed dynamics, fish and the wildlife populations, and flood hazards- forests practices, resource management, natural phenomena, and land use all affect flood hazards. By expanding their knowledge of these forces and their affect on the flood hazards the state agencies can more effectively act upon or respond to these forces and also a better understanding of these forces will help those interested in flood mitigation to work with individuals or organizations whose activities affect the flood hazard in one way or another.

                       Another objective is to reduce vulnerability to flood damage and environmental impacts through coordination with land planning efforts, improved design and the construction standards, and programs that address current at – risk development- coordinated efforts among agencies can increase effectiveness in addressing issues such as protection of alluvial fans, upstream drainage and surface runoff, stream clearance, and sediment sources, stabilization of disturbed reaches, levee management and the maintenance, zoning and construction procedures in and near the floodplain.

                          The objective of strengthening flood preparedness, response, and education- without adequate flood warning systems, flood response planning, and preparedness, the state risks increased losses of life and property. Such readiness translates into the ability to address the hazards flooding presents and equally important to protect life and property is the public awareness of the risks flooding presents. A public which understands flood hazards is less likely to locate property in areas of high flood hazard or engage in hazardous activities which put life at risk.


                       The plan works to coordinate a reduction in flood damages throughout the state. What the plan will do is to provide a tool to ensure that flood damages are minimized to the greatest extent possible and nonstructural measures can help mitigate the impact of floods. The plan is a working document subject to continual change based on the state’s continual growth in knowledge and experience relating to addressing flood hazards.

                     The hazard identification techniques: The traditional approach to safety management was to have an incident, investigate and then make changes to prevent a repetition. But this approach is no longer acceptable; a single incident can challenge the existence of a company due to the damage to reputation, loss of assets and production. The techniques were developed to anticipate problem before they occurred and start from the principle that all work related injuries and illness and escapes of the hazardous material can be prevented.  Once risks have been  accessed,  those which are unacceptable to management will require development of a risk mitigation strategy which refers to the additional efforts , if any, that must be taken by the management to lower the likelihood of the risk occurring and to minimize the impact on the program if the risk did occur.

                      Risk can never be totally eliminated, but can be managed and mitigated to lessen the likelihood and the impact of the risk on the program. The risk mitigation strategy includes: roles and responsibilities for developing, implementing and monitoring the strategy; timelines; conditions present in order for risk level to be accepted; and resources required to carry out the planned actions. The risk assessment strategies are a managing general underwriting firm specializing in stop loss. This program offer professional, prompt, personal service and flexible solutions to stop loss needs. The expertise in stop loss underwriting, claim administration and premium accounting that allows them to provide the clients with the best overall service. This risk assessment has helped the government to reduce most of its hazards that it undergoes through.


                  After the nation undertakes all these measures then it becomes easy to curb the hazards affecting the people and the state as a whole causing a lot of losses in terms of money, loss of people’s lives and loss of property. These hazards become costly to the country as little can be done if the hazards have gone to the advanced stages therefore it is better to control than to wait until it is too late to take action.

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