By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
Mitigation is one of the most important aspects of emergency management. With mitigation, communities are able to figure out what risks there might be in a community and lessen those risks before a major disaster happens.
One useful example of proper mitigation is occurring in Connecticut. According to the Hartford Courant, the Department of Transportation is currently working to cut down approximately 60,000 trees that are in danger of falling on highways.
This work will have a definite impact on emergency management efforts in Connecticut in the near future, since it will keep fallen trees off of roadways in the event of major storms. Emergency vehicles will be able to reach incident sites more easily.
Mitigation Isn’t Always Easy in Practice
However, budgeting for mitigation and effective risk management are also factors to be considered. Budgeting for mitigation efforts can often be difficult. For instance, budgeting can be politically charged.
All too often, governments that control budgets may make saving money their primary focus and deny first responder agencies the funds they urgently need for vital equipment or personnel. First responders then have to follow the mandate “do more with less.”
Department Collaboration Also Plays a Role in Mitigation
In recent years, states have developed offices of emergency management. These agencies help governments to keep up with the demands of emergencies, disasters and the administrative restructuring of the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11.
Department collaboration, however, is an important consideration for emergency management. With department collaboration comes resource sharing, instead of the need for first responder agencies to "reinvent the wheel."
The situation in Connecticut provides insight into how different government agencies can work together for mitigation efforts. Understanding what we know about agency collaboration, asking departments to come together for mitigation efforts is not only incredibly beneficial for public safety, but is an important consideration where budgets and manpower are concerned.