The Evolution of Hazard Mitigation : White paper By Nina Machotka

Moving from reaction to forecasting

Whether natural or otherwise, hazards are potential and real threats to people, property, and infrastructure. Though they differ across continents, hazards pervade our lives and have a causal effect on development planning, construction, infrastructure, and transportation. To lessen the effects of hazards and break the cycles of damage, hazard mitigation programs have been developed and integrated into nearly every country around the world.

What’s involved in hazard mitigation

Hazard mitigation is defined as: “Any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards.”1 (In some countries, the definition has been expanded to include human-made hazards.) This cornerstone of administrative law for emergency management has spawned guidelines and best practices that can be used by individuals, local communities, regions, states, and federal governments to prevent the disastrous effects of flooding, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and human-made geography transformations.

The evolution of hazard mitigation - moving from reaction to forecasting and prevention - has resulted in better building codes, infrastructure standards for roads and bridges, securing communities that are in flood plains and brushfire areas, all of which help reduce the need and cost for response and recovery after an event occurs.

Identifying natural hazard locations

Traditionally, on-site visits were the way to identify hazard locations, but they are costly in time and personnel. And in the event that an area cannot be accessed due to rough terrain or extensive damage, an on-site visit may be impossible. This is where nearmap enters the picture with its powerful aerial imagery and software tools that assess damage after an event and help forecast the likelihood of future events.

On ANZAC Day, 24 April 2015, a storm hit Sydney and the Hunter area January 8th 2016 a bushfire tore throug Yarloop WA causing significant damage. The below is one of the images that nearmap captured clearly showing the extent of the damage, a view that could never be seen by an on-site visit.

Download this full whitepaper and discover how the best planning strategies come from having the best information. With nearmap, organisations are expertly equipped “to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards” - the cornerstone of hazard mitigation.