Mitigation is the lessening or limitation of the adverse impacts of hazards and related disasters. Mitigation efforts are attempts to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether to reduce the effects of disasters. The adverse impacts of hazards often cannot be prevented fully, but their scale or severity can be substantially lessened by various strategies and actions. Mitigation measures encompass engineering techniques and hazard-resistant construction as well as improved environmental policies and public awareness ranging from:
- Community awareness campaigns to increase knowledge of how to deal with disaster situations
- Proper land use planning and design decisions to stop development which may be dangerous in the event of a disaster;
- Capital works such as levee bank construction to reduce the impacts of flooding.
All mitigation measures are important as they do not only reduce the cost of disasters to the community, but they save lives.