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General Information

Mitigation is defined as “sustained actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.”

There are two main goals regarding mitigation. First, mitigation should minimize the impact on people and damage to property. Second, mitigation should minimize the economic impact of responding to and recovering from disasters. The overall goal of mitigation is to create disaster resistant communities.

Wildland Fire Mitigation:
Maintenance of property in or near wildland fire prone area can go a long way toward preventing or reducing the spread of fire. Maintenance includes fuel management techniques such as pruning and clearing dead vegetation, selective logging, keeping grass short, planting fire-resistant vegetation and creating fuel/fire breaks, i.e., areas where the spread of wildfires will be slowed or stopped by the removal of fuels. Move shrubs and other landscaping away from the sides of your home or deck. All too often, homes burn when plantings around them catch fire.

Of course, the easiest way to mitigate wildland fires is to use caution when conducting open burning. Follow all safety guidelines and rules for burning. Check the WI DNR website for more information. The picture on this page is from a wildland fire by Mud Lake on April 22, 2007. A total of 53 acres burned before it was brought under control.

Install tile or flame-retardant shingles on your roof, instead of wood shakes or standard shingles. This will reduce the chance that airborne burning debris will end up destroying your home.

Clean dead or dry leaves and needles, twigs and combustibles from roofs, decks, eaves, porches andyards. Keep woodpiles away from structures.

Inspect chimneys at least twice a year and clean them at least once a year. Safe fireplace/chimney use and maintenance includes spark arrestors and proper disposal of coals/ashes.

Flood Mitigation - Homeowners:
Move valuables and appliances out of the basement of your home or business if it is prone to flooding. By doing so, you increase the chance that your belongings will be safe and sound when a flood event occurs.

Elevate the main breaker or fuse box and the utility meters above the anticipated flood level in your home or business, so that flood water won't damage your utilities. Consider the use of sump pumps, check valves and backflow prevention devices.

Secure yard items or stored objects that may otherwise be swept away, damaged or pose a hazard if floodwaters would pick them up and carry them away,

Buy flood insurance to cover the value of your home and its contents. Not only will insurance give you greater peace of mind, but it will also greatly speed your recovery if a flood occurs. You can learn more about this insurance one of the following ways:
* Telephone: 1-(800) 621-FEMA (3362)
TTY users can dial 1 (800) 462-7585 to use the Federal Relay Service
* Contact your local insurance agent
* Visit FEMA's website on the National Flood Insurance Program

Flood Mitigation - Municipalities:
Flood mitigation can involve installing, re-routing, or increasing the capacity of a storm drainage system that may involve detention and retention ponds, drainage easements, or creeks and streams.

Maintain drainage systems to include sediment and debris clearance.

Prevent/discourage discharges into storm-water/sewer systems from home footing drains, downspouts and drainage.

In addition to planning for traffic control during floods, there are various construction and placement factors to consider when building roads, such as placement, ponding, culvert size, etc.

High Wind Mitigation:
Consider engineering measures and construction techniques such as structural bracing, straps and clips, anchor bolts, laminated or impact-resistant glass, waterproof adhesive sealing strips or interlocking roof shingles.

Install and maintain storm shutters over all exposed windows and glass surfaces, and use them when severe weather threatens. Besides protecting against wind, shutters also prevent damage from flying debris.

The risk of manufactured home damage can be reduced by using tie-downs with anchors and ground anchors appropriate for the soil type.

Have your home inspected by a building professional to ensure that roof and other building components are capable of withstanding wind effects.

Risk to lives can be improved through construction and use of concrete safe rooms in homes and shelter areas of mobile home parks, fairgrounds, shopping malls and businesses.

Mitigation Planning Tool for Communities »
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