Difference Between Preparedness and Mitigation

Preparedness and mitigation are two important strategies used in disaster management and risk reduction. Both are important to reduce the impact of disasters, but they are distinct and separate concepts with different objectives and approaches. This essay will provide a detailed explanation of the difference between preparedness and mitigation and how they are used in disaster management.

What is Preparedness?

A home, community, country, or other group's level of preparedness for a catastrophe is referred to as their level of preparedness. The term preparedness is used commonly in the context of planning for extreme weather events and other natural disruptions.

Both strategy and resources are needed for preparedness. Whatever that will be required to respond to a crisis is included in the essential resources. These can contain three days' worth of food and water, batteries for flashlights, mobile phones for communication, and supplies for staying put. The materials need will depend on the scenario, such as whether evacuation or shelter-in-place order is given.

Preparedness entails more than just stocking up on tools and supplies. Organizations should have a disaster response strategy, according to the majority of disaster response agencies. It is not always possible to plan while a crisis is already underway. Families, for instance, are urged to establish meeting locations outside their home in case they are unable to get there.

Families are also urged to have specific places in the house to go to in the case of a shelter-in-place order. A shelter-in-place order is issued when it is safer for individuals to remain indoors than to flee. Shelter-in-place orders are most typically given during extreme weather events, accidents involving hazardous items, and risky law enforcement scenarios.

For towns and nations, the level of preparedness is more complex, but the same idea holds true. In the case of a disaster, cities and nations need to be prepared with both resources and a plan. Cities should have appropriate resources for medical staff, first-responders, and for civilians. They should also have a strategy in place for what to do to safeguard the lives of their inhabitants, whether that means evacuation or sheltering-in-place.

The better prepared a person, group, or community is for a disaster, the less severely they will be affected by it. Preparedness is crucial since disasters can strike at any time.

What is Mitigation?

Mitigation is the term used to describe preventative steps done to lessen the negative effects of a crisis or disaster. Disasters can't always be stopped in their tracks, but they may be made less severe before, during, and after they happen. There are various forms of mitigation.

Climate change mitigation, for example, refers to mitigation strategies to decrease the impact of climate change coming from anthropogenic carbon emissions. Climate change mitigation techniques include investment in renewable forms of energy that are carbon neutral, such as wind and solar power. Reducing reliance on carbon intensive energy sources like petroleum and natural gas is the goal of this effort.

Disaster relief is another sort of mitigation. One sort of disaster mitigation is structures that are built to be earthquake resistant in locations with high seismic risk. One method of catastrophe mitigation which has been the focus of current discussion is minimizing a potential asteroid impact.

NASA and other space organizations are looking into ways to lessen the severity of an asteroid crash. Concepts for asteroid deflection missions, impact impacts research, and emergency response preparation are all examples of mitigation techniques. A city that is in danger of being destroyed by an oncoming asteroid may be evacuated as an example of an emergency response plan.

With the onset of the 2019-2020 COVID-19 pandemic, illness mitigation has now become a popular type of crisis mitigation. The purpose of disease mitigation is to limit or stop the spread of an epidemic. Several nations have instituted widespread quarantines in response to COVID-19, including the closing of all unnecessary enterprises and shelter-in-place orders requiring residents to stay inside their houses until absolutely necessary (for example, to go to the grocery store or the hospital).

Another mitigating approach that has been utilised is social distancing where individuals are obliged to not assemble into big groups and keep at least 6 feet, or roughly 2 metres, apart in public. This is done to stop the virus, which is known to transmit very readily from person to person.

Differences: Preparedness and Mitigation

The following table highlights the major differences between Preparedness and Mitigation −





Preparedness is the state of being ready to deal with an emergency.

Mitigation also aims to decrease the effects of a disaster or avoid it.


Preparedness can only be implemented before a crisis occurs.

Before or during a disaster, mitigation measures might be taken.

Activity vs Passivity

In order to protect oneself from a calamity, preparedness is essentially a passive activity.

The goal of mitigation is to lessen the impact of the disaster.

Event vs operation

Preparedness is an expectation of a certain occurrence.

Mitigation is a continuous process.


Preparedness and mitigation are both important strategies for disaster management and risk reduction. Preparedness focuses on preparing for disasters and reducing the impact of disasters, while mitigation focuses on reducing the risk of disasters and the impact of disasters.

Both strategies are necessary for effective disaster management and risk reduction, and they should be integrated into a comprehensive disaster management plan. By combining preparedness and mitigation, communities can reduce the risk of disasters and increase their ability to respond effectively in the event of a disaster.

Updated on: 19-Apr-2023

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