The Office of Emergency Management uses a four-phase approach to emergencies: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery, which is known collectively as the Emergency Management Cycle.
MITIGATION - Activities which are designed to either prevent the occurrence of an emergency or minimize the potentially adverse effects of an emergency, including zoning/building code ordinances and enforcement of land use regulations.
PREPAREDNESS - Activities, programs and systems which exist prior to an emergency and are used to support and enhance response to an emergency or disaster. Public education, planning, training, and exercising are among the activities conducted under this phase.
RESPONSE - Activities and programs designed to address the immediate effects of the onset of an emergency or disaster and help to reduce casualties, damage , and to speed recovery. Coordination, Warning, Evacuation, and Mass Care are examples of Response.
RECOVERY - Activities involving restoring systems to normal. Recovery actions are taken to assess damage and return vital life support systems to minimum operating standards; long term recovery may continue for many years.