There are many factors which put constraints on any successful mitigation efforts such as lack of political will, an uncooperative and apathetic public, denial of the existence of the risk and lack of funding or financial, manpower and other resource constraints that hamper efforts to effectively limit the damage or losses resulting from any type of foreseeable disaster. People may at times refuse to recognize they are at risk or vulnerable and try to beat the odds by sticking out in a particular place, for example, hoping that the government will bail them out anyway. Actions required for mitigation imply recognition of that risk and entails additional expenses which some people are unwilling to bear that imposes a moral hazard on local government units charged with the safety of its citizens (Haddow, Bullock & Coppola, 2010, p. 83). Some emergency managers have resorted to using the carrot-and-stick approach, by providing incentives for compliance and penalties or fines for failure to act. Laws must be passed also for this (FEMA, 2010, p. 1) Key Terms and Concepts – mitigation is defined as the elimination or reduction of losses or damages due to careful planning and disaster preparedness with regards to forecasted event or occurrence with regards to its frequency, severity or magnitude. Risk awareness pertains to the recognition of the probability of an adverse occurrence by the general public. Response refers to any public and private efforts to deal with the emergency; recovery
means acts taken to facilitate the restoration of normalcy after an adverse event with the focus on minimizing losses or damages. An ICS must be put in place in advance of an event or having an incident command system that deals with the chaotic conditions and try to restore order by having someone put in charge of the overall situation. An ICS is part and parcel of the NIMS or the National Incident Management System which had evolved from the original firefighting techniques developed in fighting a large conflagration such as wildfires or forest fires and now used to deal also with man-made disasters such as a terrorist attack. The NIMS is used as sort of a template for an “all-hazards” planning to deal with any type of disaster because it serves as the foundation and integrates all best practices but it has its limitations since each disaster is unique in some way and is a non-linear occurrence with other factors involved such as pure luck, chaotic progression, and unpredictable outcomes. Natural disasters are those events caused by the forces of nature, such as typhoon, flood, drought, pestilence, forest fire, earthquake, volcanic eruption and tidal wave or tsunami (Skipper & Kwon, 2007, p. 114). Man-made disasters are the result of actions of man, whether it is any of the accidental, inadvertent or intentional events. Examples would be an industrial explosion, the oil spill from the offshore drilling rig, a highway collision or a train derailment involving cargoes of toxic chemicals or a terrorist attack such as the September 11, 2001 twin tower attacks in NYC.