Disaster Preparedness

Learn about the four phases of emergency management.

The Four Phases of Emergency Management

MitigationFirefighter looking at a blazing fire

Preventing future emergencies or minimizing their effects

  • Includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies.
  • Buying flood and fire insurance for your home is a mitigation activity.
  • Mitigation activities take place before and after emergencies.

 

ResponseImage of a flooded urban area after a natural disaster.

Responding safely to an emergency

  • Includes actions taken to save lives and prevent further property damage in an emergency situation. Response is putting your preparedness plans into action.
  • Seeking shelter from a tornado or turning off gas valves in an earthquake are both response activities.
  • Response activities take place during an emergency.

 

PreparednessImage of a flooded neighborhood after an emergency or natural disaster.

Preparing to handle an emergency

  • Includes plans or preparations made to save lives and to help response and rescue operations.
  • Evacuation plans and stocking food and water are both examples of preparedness.
  • Preparedness activities take place before an emergency occurs.

 

RecoveryImage of firefighters pointing at a building on a fire after an emergency or natural disaster.

Recovering from an emergency

  • Includes actions taken to return to a normal or an even safer situation following an emergency.
  • Recovery includes getting financial assistance to help pay for the repairs.
  • Recovery activities take place after an emergency.

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