Pre-Disaster Mitigation Planning
Pre-disaster Mitigation Planning is a tool for assessing and prioritizing projects for mitigating damage and casualties from natural disasters. It helps focus on the actual risks from hazards by profiling each potential threat and comparing the relative risk between hazards. A thorough profile of each hazard history, economic and structural losses, injury and casualties and the potential for hazards to occur again are analyzed for each hazard. Sometimes historical data provides clues to estimate the potential losses, or hazard zones can be defined to determine where properties and populations are at risk.
For other hazards, assessment models have been created to simulate a hazard and the potential damage from the hazard. The goal of the plan is to assess the relative risks and then have an objective analysis of projects that can most cost-effectively reduce or eliminate risks and the threat to infrastructure, structures, and the population.
Communities are at various stages of updating their original five-year plans. Federal funding for the updates has been staggered; some updates have been completed while others are in early stages of development. The federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 amended an earlier disaster relief law and mandated local pre-disaster mitigation plans as a condition of eligibility for pre-disaster mitigation and post-disaster recovery assistance.