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Prevene: Middle French prevenir (French prévenir) to act first in a matter (1431–1435), to summon to court (1467), to anticipate in order to hinder (c1480), to forestall (someone) in a course of action (1512), (of divine grace) to go before (1551) and its etymon classical Latin praevenīre to arrive first or beforehand, to precede, to anticipate, forestall, prevent, to surpass, (of death) to take (a person) prematurely, in post-classical Latin also (of God) to go before with spiritual help (Vulgate), to prejudice (5th cent.), to intervene on behalf of (8th cent.), to occupy beforehand, preoccupy


  • 1archaic a : to be in readiness for (as an occasion)
b : to meet or satisfy in advance
c : to act ahead of
d : to go or arrive before
  • 2: to deprive of power or hope of acting or succeeding
  • 3: to keep from happening or existing <steps to prevent war>
  • 4: to hold or keep back : hinder, stop —often used with from


Hazard prevention refers to the prevention of risks. The first and most effective stage of hazard prevention and emergency management is the elimination of hazards. If this is too timely or impractical, comes the more costly stage in emergency management: disaster mitigation

Accident Chain

Every accident as a result of a hazard is preventable by breaking the accident chain before the last link. Breaking the chain is known as intervention, which is reactive, whereas reducing the potential for an accident chain at all is mitigation, which is proactive. An example of a reactive step is the creation of a collapse zone at a structure fire. An example of a proactive step is wearing personal protective equipment at a fire call.

The accident chain: