Hazard Mitigation

How to Reduce Disaster Damage

We can reduce or eliminate the adverse effects of disasters if we take some simple steps now before the earthquake, flood, wind or fire.  Also called mitigation, most of these  “just make good sense” and are not expensive.  If you want to make your home, school, business or workplace safer and more resistant to disasters take these steps:


1.  Think about which hazards affect you.  We all live in an active earthquake area, but some people live in the foothills of Walla Walla County and are at risk to wildfire.  Others are more prone to wind damage because of where we live, work or go to school.  Many businesses, homes and other structures are near areas prone to floods. 

2.  Assess your situation.  Go on a hazard hunt.  Look around your home, business, school or place of work to find things that would be a problem during an emergency.

3.  Take action.

Wildfire damage prevention

  • Clear at least 50 feet around structures free of combustibles
  • Move woodpile away from structures
  • Trim or remove trees
  • Use fire resistant plants
  • Replace wood roof with Class A roof
  • Enclose eaves and overhangs


The Firewise website was created for people who live or vacation in fire prone areas of North America. Firewise provides information that will help you to become a firewise individual, and acquaint you with the challenges of living around interface/intermix wildfire. This website provides information that may lessen the risk of wildfire loss for you, your family and your neighbors. You will find online wildfire protection information designed to help you avoid unnecessary fire loss. You will also find a list of offline wildfire protection information as well as links to off-site fire resources.

Earthquake damage prevention

  • Strap water heater to the wall
  • Anchor heavy bookcases and file cabinets to the wall
  • Place heavy objects on lower shelves
  • Anchor overhead lights, heavy artwork and mirrors
  • Anchor top-heavy objects

Wind damage prevention

  • Install wind resistant roofing (80+ mph)
  • Secure garage and shop doors
  • Pick up loose items outside

Flood damage prevention

  • Store important documents above flood level
  • Promptly and properly dispose of hazardous materials
  • Elevate washer and dryer in basement or move upstairs
  • Elevate main breaker box
  • Elevate heating, cooling and ventilation equipment