The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines hazard mitigation as any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. Another way to understand hazard mitigation is as the prevention component of the emergency management process.
Mitigation activities are actions that will prevent, reduce or eliminate losses. Mitigation can reduce or eliminate the need for an emergency response and greatly reduce the recovery period.
Preparedness activities are the emergency plans, training, drills, and exercises that individuals, communities and first responders participate in on almost daily basis. These are things done to get ready for an emergency or disaster before it happens.
Response is the short-term, emergency actions taken to address the immediate impacts of a hazard.
Recovery is the longer-term process of restoring the community back to normal or pre-disaster conditions.