About Disaster Mitigation
Disaster mitigation measures are those that eliminate or reduce the impacts and risks of hazards through proactive measures taken before an emergency or disaster occurs.
One of the best known examples of investment in disaster mitigation is the Red River Floodway. The building of the Floodway was a joint provincial/federal undertaking to protect the City of Winnipeg and reduce the impact of flooding in the Red River Basin. It cost $60 million to build in the 1960s. Since then, the floodway has been used over 20 times. Its use during the 1997 Red River Flood alone saved an estimated $6 billion. The Floodway was expanded in 2006 as a joint provincial/federal initiative.
An all-hazards emergency management approach looks at all potential risks and impacts, natural and human-induced (intentional and non-intentional) to ensure that decisions made to mitigate against one type of risk do not increase our vulnerability to other risks.
Types of disaster mitigation
Disaster mitigation measures may be structural (e.g. flood dikes) or non-structural (e.g. land use zoning). Mitigation activities should incorporate the measurement and assessment of the evolving risk environment. Activities may include the creation of comprehensive, pro-active tools that help decide where to focus funding and efforts in risk reduction.
Other examples of mitigation measures include:
- Hazard mapping
- Adoption and enforcement of land use and zoning practices
- Implementing and enforcing building codes
- Flood plain mapping
- Reinforced tornado safe rooms
- Burying of electrical cables to prevent ice build-up
- Raising of homes in flood-prone areas
- Disaster mitigation public awareness programs
- Insurance programs
Emergency Management News Releases
Government of Canada announces funding for research project to improve Canada’s resilience to flooding
November 23, 2022
The Government of Canada marks one year since the historic and tragic floods in British Columbia
November 14, 2022
Statement by Minister Blair on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
October 13, 2022
Emergency Management Publications and Reports
- Canada’s Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
- The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders: Awareness Brochure
- Adapting to Rising Flood Risk - An Analysis of Insurance Solutions for Canada
- Compendium of U.S. - Canada Emergency Management Assistance Mechanisms
- Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Emergency Management Strategy Interim Action Plan 2021-22
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