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Mitigation

The State's Mitigation goal is to reduce and or eliminate the adverse effect of natural, technological, and human-caused hazards  to the socio-economic and physical environments of the State of Tennessee.  Mitigation has become firmly cemented in state and federal disaster programs over the past few years, primarily due to the overwhelming success of mitigation activities nationwide.

Another definition for mitigation is the ongoing effort to lessen the impact disasters have on people and property. Mitigation involves keeping homes away from floodplains, engineering bridges to withstand earthquakes, creating and enforcing effective building codes to protect property from tornadoes and more. Mitigation is defined as "any sustained action that reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects." This definition distinguishes actions that have a long-term impact from those that are more closely associated with the immediate preparedness, response, and recovery activities. Hazard Mitigation is the only phase of emergency management specifically dedicated to breaking the cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Accordingly, States, territories, federally-recognized tribes, and local communities are encouraged to take advantage of funding that HMA programs provide in both pre- and post-disaster timelines.

In practice, mitigation can take many forms. It can involve actions such as:

  • Promoting sound land use planning based on known hazards
  • Buying flood insurance to protect your belongings
  • Relocating or demolishing structures out of the floodplains
  • Securing shelves and water heaters to nearby walls
  • Installing adequate back-generators for communitiy critical facilities
  • Developing, adopting, and enforcing effective building codes and standards
  • Engineering roads and bridges to withstand earthquakes
  • Using fire-retardant materials in new construction
  • Structural Retrofitting of Existing Buildings
  • Wildfire Mitigation
  • Safe Room Construction
  • Community Flood Risk Reduction Projects
  • Developing and implementing a plan in your business or community to reduce your susceptibility to hazards

You can learn more about mitigation by viewing FEMA's web site on Mitigation; however, state-specific information is contained in this webpage and its counterpart links noted in the sidebar. The major areas are Mitigation Planning, Mitigation Grant Programs, and Publications. Within these sections, you will find what types of assistance is available, how to apply, how to manage awarded funds, etc.