Mitigation refers to a concrete set of actions that are put into practice in order to decimate the risks of destruction. There are two types of mitigation namely structural and non-structural.
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Lindell, Prater and Perry (2006) assert that structural motivation denotes all the physical constructions that are made to eradicate the effects of environmental hazards such as floods, tsunamis and earthquakes.
Additionally, structured mitigations employ engineering measures to build up infrastructure for controlling hazards. Contrastingly, non structural mitigation comprises of policies, knowledge development and awareness used to control hazards (Lindell, Prater & Perry, 2006).
Notably, both structural and non-structural mitigations have distinct effectiveness. In this case, there are outstanding features that distinguish one from the other.
From a careful review of literature, studies have shown that the other difference in these two types of mitigation is cost-effectiveness. Notably, non-structural mitigation is quite cost effective since it employs measures, policies and procedures that aim at preventing disasters. This can be done through public awareness.
Contrastingly, structural mitigation is very demanding in terms of labor and capital since it entails establishing infrastructural facilities. In line with this, Lindell, Prater and Perry (2006) point out that structural mitigation requires expertise that are competent in designing buildings, canals, roads and renovating old structures.
In connection to this, Lindell, Prater and Perry (2006) analyze that people with poor skills cannot ensure good management and maintenance of structures.
In the case of non-structural mitigation, people with little expertise can participate in planning and preventing disasters from occurring in risky sites through awareness campaign or other effective means.
One of the notable differences between the two types of mitigation is that structural mitigation one is more technical. This implies that it is quite physical since it involves construction of infrastructures that control hazards.
On the other hand, non-structural mitigation is relatively abstract since it deals with development and prevention policies. Therefore, one can argue that this type is theoretical and not practical at all. Lindell, Prater and Perry (2006) observe that structural mitigation is more effective since it provides common alternatives for disasters.
This is due to the fact that it is practical and hence easily reduces the effects of disasters than non-structural mitigation.
Empirical studies have shown that structural mitigation requires expertise with high skills such as civil engineers. This enables them to execute their competent skills in designing buildings, canals, roads and dams.
Moreover, they establish new infrastructures while renovating the old ones. Notably, non-structural mitigation does not require competent skills and hence can lead to poor maintenance that eventually leads to indirect damage.
In this case, structural mitigation has an added advantage since it is more effective than the latter. In connection to this, Lindell, Prater and Perry (2006) analyze that non-structural mitigation often consumes lesser time to implement policies, plans and preventive measures than it is the case with structural mitigation.
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Notably, the latter has complex undertakings which include designing and construction which usually takes much time.
In the case of non-structural mitigation, it only entails disseminating information, plans and policies to restrict public from risky sites such as mines, flooded rivers and landslide prone zones. This type takes minimum time especially through the use of press in fostering public awareness.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that the two types of mitigation have numerous differences, it is worth concluding that they are equally useful.
This is due to the fact that non-structural mitigation provides the theoretical knowledge for disaster management through policies, planning, awareness and establishment of preventive measures.
In line with this, structural mitigation relies on this knowledge to develop physical structures in order to control hazards. In this case, they are equally effective and useful in decimating the effects of disasters.
Lindell, M., Prater, C. & Perry, R. (2006). Fundamentals of emergency management. Maryland: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Inc.