Social Science Research On Earthquake Hazard Mitigation: Relevance For Policy and Practice

Dynes, Russell R.
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Disaster Research Center
It is important initially to provide a context for the discussion of mitigation that follows. For many terms, there is a lack of standardization of meaning. For example, the term of “hazard” reduction is used primarily by those with specific interest in hazards per se. Also, the term “risk” reduction is often used as an equivalent term. The preference here is to use the term “mitigation.” Mitigation itself has become somewhat standardized as one of the four phase of disasters, including, besides mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. These phases are best seen as circular, rather than linear. As some studies have suggested, the recovery period may be an appropriate time to initiate mitigation strategies. The “circular” pattern of phases is a useful “metaphor,” even if the delineation of the phases is sometimes difficult. For example, preparedness activities can be considered as one element of “mitigation.” Some of the studies mentioned later do discuss various preparedness measures, either at the personal or community level.
Mitigation , social science research , response , recovery