Community-Based Pre-Disaster Mitigation: Resource Guide   [open pdf - 638KB]

"Traditionally, CBOs/FBOs [Community-based Organizations] [Faith-based Organizations] have been involved in the disaster response and recovery phase -- providing shelter, food, clothing, and emotional support to victims of disaster. However, during the 1970s, researchers and government officials began to shift their thinking about disasters away from a simple emphasis on immediate response. Disasters began to be seen from a more continuous perspective, rather than as independent single events. These ways of thinking stressed the need for disaster preparation and awareness -- to be ready for disasters before they occurred rather than simply reacting afterward. Accordingly, how the conception of people who might be affected by disasters changed as well. Rather than passive 'victims' of disasters dependent upon government assistance in the wake of a disaster, residents of affected communities began to be seen as potentially empowered to actively affect their own environment by taking action to mitigate the potential effects of disasters. The knowledge of potential disasters faced by a community came to be seen as an incentive for communities to better plan and prepare for their occurrence. For example, hurricanes will always occur, but the amount of damage they cause will be determined in large part by where and how people choose to build, and how well-prepared they are to deal with the hurricane and it aftermath. Inherent in a number of these new ways of thinking about disasters was a realization that disasters could be effectively dealt with on a local level. This approach emphasized that local grassroots involvement was crucial to addressing the challenges that planning for a potential disaster posed to local communities. From these changes in thinking about disasters arose great interest in the concept of disaster mitigation."

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Federal Emergency Management Agency: https://www.fema.gov
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