Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk). Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security and self-reliance.
Disasters can happen at anytime and anyplace; their human and financial consequences are hard to predict.
Mitigation plans provide a structured and systematic approach to identify risks and vulnerabilities and to develop and prioritize actions to reduce or eliminate risks thereby diminishing future losses resulting from the identified hazards.
The process for developing a comprehensive all-hazard mitigation plan involves several steps. These steps include:
Building Support for Mitigation Planning: This step involves identifying interested community members, available resources, and technical expertise and then organizing these elements into an effective planning team.
Understanding Your Risks: This step involves identifying and characterizing potential consequences of hazards and their impact to communities.
Identifying Mitigation Actions and Implementing Strategies: This step involves establishing priorities based on your community’s understanding of their risk and developing long-term strategies and specific actions to minimize or avoid undesired consequences associated with the hazards.
Implementing the Hazard Mitigation Plan: This step involves a variety of on-going efforts which may include public education, implementation of mitigation projects, and changes in the day-to-day operations of government to incorporate their understanding of the risks associated with hazards can have undesired consequences within the community.
Drought, Earthquake, Extreme temperatures, Flood, Hail, Landslide, Severe wind, Severe winter weather, Tornado, Wildfire, Thunderstorms, etc…
Mitigation examples for Home Owners
Carbon Dioxide and Radon Detectors
Build on higher ground
If you have a sump pump buy one that has a battery operated back up in case the power goes out.
In the event of High winds:
Remove large trees and foliage near your house
This can be extremely dangerous, for both you and your house, and therefore is a job for a skilled contractor.
The straps and ground anchors used for manufactured homes also can be used to anchor outbuildings, especially small garden sheds, which are usually not placed on a permanent foundation.
You can secure outdoor furniture and barbecue grills by bolting them to decks or patios or by attaching them to ground anchors with cables or chains.
You can secure trash cans with cables or chains attached to ground anchors or to wood posts firmly embedded in the ground.
Trash can lids should be tied to cans with cables or chains.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) goal is to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance for property owners. The program encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations, which will mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures.
The NFIP is helping communities reduce the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of both Risk Insurance and National Flood Insurance.
FEMA's Best Practices Portfolio (https://www.fema.gov/mitigation-best-practices-portfolio) is a collection of ideas for activities, projects and potential funding sources that can help reduce or prevent the impacts of disasters. By sharing your first-hand experience of damaged areas, you help spread the word of how important, effective and life-saving mitigation can be. Stories that focus on successful mitigation projects and practices implemented after a disaster may encourage communities and individuals to implement new mitigation efforts to prevent future damages.
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states. Flooding is a significant potential threat throughout Trumbull County especially after the winter thaw.
Most injuries and deaths related to flooding events occur when people are swept away by flood currents, and most property damage results from inundation by sediment and debris-filled water.
Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, or a dam or levee failure. Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater or a possible levee breach and cause flooding in surrounding areas. It can also occur when rainfall exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry flood water away from urban areas.
Trumbull County has special flood hazard areas that are subject to periodic inundation which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base. Additionally, structures that are inadequately anchored, elevated, flood-proofed, or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.
An application for a floodplain development permit shall be required for all development activities located within or in contact with an identified special flood hazard area. Such application shall be made by the owner of the property or his/her authorized agent, prior to the actual commencement of such construction. Where it is unclear whether a development site is in a special flood hazard area, the Floodplain Administrator may require an application for a floodplain development permit to determine the development’s location. It shall be unlawful for any person to begin construction or other development activity, including but not limited to, filling; grading; construction; alteration, remodeling, or expanding any structure; or alteration of any watercourse wholly within, partially within or in contact with any identified special flood hazard area, until a floodplain development permit is obtained.
Plan for evacuation. Know where you are going and how to get there.
Prepare your home for a flood. Call your local building department or office of emergency management for information.
Purchase flood insurance.
Keep all insurance policies and a list of valuable items in a safe place.
Take photos or a videotape of the valuables you keep in your home.
Listen to your radio or television for reports of flood danger.
Keep your car filled with gas.
Do NOT try to walk or drive through flooded areas. Water can be deeper than it appears and water levels rise quickly. Follow official emergency evacuation routes. If your car stalls in floodwater, get out quickly and move to higher ground.
Stay away from moving water: moving water six inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Cars are easily swept away in just two feet of water.
Stay away from disaster areas unless authorities ask for volunteers.
Stay away from downed power lines.
If your home is flooded, turn the utilities off until emergency officials tell you it is safe to turn them on. Do not pump the basement out until floodwater recedes. Avoid weakened floors, walls and rooftops.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with floodwaters.
Wear gloves and boots when cleaning up.
Open all doors and windows. Use fans if possible to air out the building.
Wash all clothes and linens in hot water.
Discard mattresses and stuffed furniture. They can't be adequately cleaned.
Wash dirt and mud from walls, counters and hard surfaced floors with soap and water. Then disinfect by wiping surfaces with a solution of one cup bleach per gallon of water.
Discard all food that has come into contact with floodwater. Canned food is alright, but thoroughly wash the can before opening.
If your well is flooded, your tap water is probably unsafe. If you have public water, the health department will let you know - through radio and television - if your water is not safe to drink. Until your water is safe, use clean bottled water.
Learn how to purify water. If you have a well, learn how to decontaminate it.
Do not use your septic system when water is standing on the ground around it. The ground below will not absorb water from sinks or toilets. When the soil has dried, it is probably safe to again use your septic system. To be sure, contact your local health department.
When floodwaters have receded watch out for weakened road surfaces
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. Under normal conditions, the body's internal thermostat produces perspiration that evaporates and cools the body. However, in the extreme heat and high humidity common in Louisiana, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature
Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Other conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality.
A prolonged drought can have a serious economic impact on a community. Increased demand for water and electricity may result in shortages of resources. Moreover, food shortages may occur if agricultural production is damaged or destroyed by a loss of crops or livestock.
Temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region and last for several weeks are defined as extreme heat. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a "dome" of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Excessively dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.
To prepare for extreme heat, you should:
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
Keep storm windows up all year.
Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
Postpone outdoor games and activities.
Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
Thunderstorms can bring heavy rains (which can cause flash flooding), strong winds, hail, lightning and tornadoes. In a severe thunderstorm get inside a sturdy building and stay tuned to a battery-operated radio for weather information. Severe thunderstorms can strike at any time of the day or night. The heaviest volume of severe thunderstorms occurs from April through September.
Lightning is a major threat during a thunderstorm. In the United States, between 75 to 100 Americans are hit and killed each year by lightning. If you are caught outdoors, avoid natural lightning rods such as tall, isolated trees in an open area or the top of a hill and metal objects such as wire fences, golf clubs and metal tools. If you are swimming, get out of the water and seek shelter. If boating, return to shore. Inside your home; keep away from windows and doors, avoid use the telephone unless there's an emergency and don't use electrical appliances.
If you see wires on the ground, DON'T GO NEAR THEM! Downed wires may be "live" and extremely dangerous. If you see downed wires, call your local electrical provider.
It is a myth that lightning never strikes twice in the same place. In fact, lightning will strike several times in the same place in the course of one discharge.
While thunderstorms and lightning can be found throughout the United States, they are most likely to occur in the central and southern states.
A thunderstorm is formed from a combination of moisture, rapidly rising warm air and a force capable of lifting air such as a warm and cold front, a sea breeze or a mountain. All thunderstorms contain lightning. Thunderstorms may occur singly, in clusters or in lines. Thus, it is possible for several thunderstorms to affect one location in the course of a few hours. Some of the most severe weather occurs when a single thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.
Lightning is an electrical discharge that results from the buildup of positive and negative charges within a thunderstorm. When the buildup becomes strong enough, lightning appears as a "bolt." This flash of light usually occurs within the clouds or between the clouds and the ground. A bolt of lightning reaches a temperature approaching 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a split second. The rapid heating and cooling of air near the lightning causes thunder.