This week’s topic for National Preparedness Month will cover the mitigation efforts you can take to prepare for disasters. 

What are mitigation efforts concerning natural or man-made disasters?  

FEMA defines mitigation as the “effort[s] to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of natural and manmade disasters. Mitigation is taking action now—by analyzing, reducing, or insuring against risk—to reduce impacts of future disasters.”

Where should I start? 

One of the best ways to begin mitigating these disasters is to know what disasters you face where you live. Use the MyHazards(CalOES Website) to ensure you are prepared for the hazards you face. This site allows you to input any address in California and see an interactive map of the hazards near that address.

What else can I do? 

There are a few other things that you can do, some of which may have been done for you. One of the best ways to prepare for disasters is to ensure that where you live is up to building codes. You can also retrofit your home with preventative design elements (expensive). However, if you qualify for Public Assistance, FEMA can help pay for some of these improvements.

Another great option is ensuring you are financially protected with either flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program or earthquake insurance with the California Earthquake Authority. If neither is an option, please call your insurance provider to ensure you are adequately covered. After a disaster, it is not the time you want to find out that you were underinsured.

Additional Resources 

Please look at the FEMA Fact Sheet on Mitigation for Homeowners for further mitigation resources for homeowners/individuals.

Next week, we will cover some preparedness measures you can take before disaster strikes.