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.

All-hazards approach

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:

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