Disasters are events that can cause loss of life and property, environmental damage, and disruption of governmental, social, and economic activities. They occur when hazards impact human settlements and the built environment. Traditional mitigation planning activities grew out of a focus on planning for natural hazards; however, recent events such as the September 11, 2001 attacks and the July 2001 Baltimore hazardous material train derailment suggest that the time has come to incorporate terrorism and technological disasters into all aspects of emergency management planning, not just preparedness and response. Additionally, the 2001 anthrax attacks, the 1996 Olympic Park bombing, the 1995 destruction of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and scores of smaller-scale incidents and accidents reinforce the need for communities to reduce their vulnerability to future terrorist acts and technological disasters. How-To Guide #7 focuses on incorporating these human-caused hazards into mitigation planning.
This publication is also available from the FEMA Publication Warehouse at no charge. Simply call 1-800-480-2520 and request item # FEMA 386-7 (hard copy) or FEMA 386-7 CD (CD-ROM).