What is Disaster Prevention and Mitigation?

Prevention and mitigation are all those actions we can take to make sure that a disaster doesn't happen or, if it does happen, that it doesn't cause as much harm as it could. W can't stop most natural phenomena happening but we can reduce the damage caused by an earthquake if we build stronger houses and on solid ground.

What is prevention? Taking measures in order to avoid an event turning into a disaster. Planting trees, for example, prevents erosion and landslides. It can also prevent drought.

What is mitigation? Measures that reduce vulnerability to certain hazards. For instance, there are building techniques that ensure that our houses, schools or hospitals will not be knocked down by an earthquake or a hurricane.

Prevention and mitigation begin with:

Knowing which hazards and risks we are exposed to in our community.
Getting together with our family and our neighbours and making plans to reduce those hazards and risks and to avoid them harming us.
Actually doing what we planned to do in order to reduce our vulnerability.
Taking action, not just talking.