Mitigation refers to actions taken before an event occurs to prevent or lessen the impact the event has to life and property. Examples of mitigation include; building codes, zoning ordinances, grant funding, and training.
Preparedness refers to activities, actions, procurements, planning, training and inter-jurisdictional cooperation designed to increase response readiness to identified hazards the community faces.
Response is the mobilization of resources to meet the needs of the community in response to the nature of the disaster. Mobilization includes local, county, state, and federal resources as necessary. Response is usually associated with the period of time immediately after the event and necessary to ensure life safety issues are handled. Examples include fire and EMS services, search and rescue, debris removal, public works activities, and law enforcement.
Refers to long-term mobilization of support operations that work toward returning the community to its pre-event condition. This period is usually when social services and volunteer organizations tasked with relief effort gear up. The greater the magnitude of the disaster the greater the recovery effort.