Legal Aspects of Mitigation
There are natural disasters that can be foreseen while others cannot. These disasters have claimed human lives and led to loss of property. Disaster mitigation Act of 2000 is a law that was enacted by the senate and the house of representatives of the United States of America in a congress assembled. It was passed in an effort to amend the Robert T. Stafford disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, to give consent to a program for pre-disaster mitigation, to restructure the administration of disaster relief, to be in command of the federal costs of disaster assistance and for other purposes “ The Disaster mitigation Act of 2000” . The idea to have a pre-disaster mitigation program was put in place to take measures before a disaster. There is still a debate on how to react to the next disaster and the measures that can be taken. I agree with the implementation of the Disaster mitigation Act of 2000.
With the passage of the Disaster mitigation Act of 2000, the pre-disaster mitigation programs have been introduced. The programs allow the communities to be involved in the mitigation process. In my opinion, this characterized a change in thinking concerning the most suitable moment to allocate resources to mitigate disaster. Initially, the Robert T. Stafford disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act allocated funds only after a disaster. It seems to me that this was an erroneous approach to use. These funds would be released after a disaster and only the affected states would be targeted. This act failed to consider the states that might have been at risk of a massive disaster. It seems that, pre-disaster mitigation is most effectual (Haddow, et al, 2008). Consequently, with the introduction of these programs, the amounts of funds allocated to deal with disasters have been increased.
The mitigation act introduced a multi-hazard advisory map; this map covers the type of disasters that have been identified to occur concurrently in an area. It also shows the areas where the hazard is prone to overlap. These maps can be used to educate the public on the procedures to take when faced with a disaster (Godschalk, 1999). They inform a community about the risks they would likely incur. They also support the activities to be put in place. For example, in areas that are prone to flooding, the communities can consider to change the use of land. Moreover, an interagency task force was introduced for coordinating the pre-disaster mitigation programs.
Communities are motivated to plan; this is a requirement before receiving grants. These plans were to be submitted to the president. Every plan had to contain the danger, risks and the policy to eradicate them. A program administration was added, each state that desired to have a program had to apply to the President for authority. The president had the powers to withdraw his approval if states did not comply with the rules. I think that this was a way of reducing any form of corruption. Provisions in this act also include assistance to individuals and households. This was to help cater for individuals in dire need. I have experienced a situation in which children lost their parents in a disaster. They were so broken and helpless. In my opinion, this provision is suitable for such situations.
In the past, only communities that had been faced with a disaster were likely to have an incentive to reduce the risks of future disaster (Nicholson, 2003). However, with the introduction of these pre-disaster mitigation programs, communities will be better prepared. Mitigation is most successful when a large number of people support it. Providing funding after a disaster was the incorrect approach to take. The shift in thinking to implement the programs is the best approach to disasters.
Godschalk, D. R. (1999). Natural hazard mitigation: Recasting disaster policy and planning. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Haddow, G. D., Bullock, J. A., & Coppola, D. P. (2008).Introduction to emergency management. Butterworth-Heinemann homeland security series. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.
Nicholson, W. C. (2003). Emergency response and emergency management law: Cases and materials. Springfield: C.C. Thomas.