What is Disaster Prevention?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2019
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Efforts made to prevent an upcoming and potentially disastrous event are known as disaster prevention. This term can also refer to efforts to prevent adverse effects of a potentially disastrous event, even when the event itself cannot be controlled. A prime example was the building of levees in Louisiana. Although this tactic was not successful for Hurricane Katrina, storm disaster prevention was the motive.

Disaster prevention is undertaken at all levels of society. It is undertaken to prevent all types of disasters. This includes those that are known to be impending and those that have the potential to occur. It also includes those that are caused by forces of nature and those that are caused by people.

At the household level, disaster prevention often begins with measures such as homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. This type of coverage is taken so a person can be reimbursed for property if it is damaged by events such as fire or theft.

Further measures may be taken to make a household more resilient or to protect those living in it. Security systems may be installed to prevent theft and bodily harm. Underground rooms may be built and stocked when there are threats of wind or storms.


Many of the components of modern automobiles are for disaster prevention. An accident may not be able to be prevented, but the effects on the passengers can be reduced. For this reason, vehicles are commonly equipped with airbags, safety belts, and special side reinforcements.

Businesses also undertake disaster prevention methods. Those that suspect they are highly susceptible to robbery may install bulletproof barriers and time-release safes. Businesses that involve hazardous production are often equipped with emergency shutdown mechanisms.

Governments undertake many types of disaster prevention for the protection of their people. Local governments employ police officers. Federal governments employ various types of military forces. One of the main functions of these bodies is to protect people and their property from violent harm. These bodies are often equipped with special resources, such as reinforced vehicles and weapons, to help ensure that they can perform these duties.

Laws and regulations are also meant to act as disaster prevention in many cases. For example, those laws that prohibit the importation of certain foods from certain places are generally aiming to prevent the outbreak of food-borne illnesses. Laws that prohibit the importation of certain agricultural products generally aim to prevent environmental damage.


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Post 1

I know this probably doesn’t fall under the category of “disaster prevention” but it’s rather amusing; I live in Alabama and we very rarely see snow, much less any accumulation. We had a blizzard in 1993 and it shut everything down for a week.

As I write this, we are expecting a winter storm to come in this evening in Alabama. This very rarely happens. The stores around here are completely sold out of things such as milk, bread, and eggs. Home Depot, Lowe’s and other stores such as that have sold out of generators and other items needed during a winter storm. Everyone is preparing for this snow disaster headed our way. It's not very often that we have to utilize a disaster plan but you can bet that, in the deep South, snow is considered a disaster!

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