The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction defines that “Non-structural measures are measures not involving physical construction which use knowledge, practice or agreement to reduce disaster risks and impacts, in particular through policies and laws, public awareness raising, training and education.”
Disaster mitigation measures for roads include "structural measures," such as road slope disaster prevention and mitigation for road slope, for road bridge retrofit, bridge scouring and so on; "non-structural measures," such as building cooperation and coordination systems, raising awareness of disaster prevention, citizen participation for disaster prevention, and stable financial support for disaster; and "social capital," which supports these measures. "Social capital" is discussed later.
In general, it takes a long time to construct structural measures, and they cannot be fully effective against disasters that exceed the target disaster scale. Therefore, it is important to minimize the impact of disasters by implementing feasible non-structural measures before and after the completion of structural measures, and by implementing non-structural measures that can be combined with appropriate structural measures to create complementary and synergistic effects.
Structural measures are mostly the measures that are positioned as "mitigation" in the disaster management cycle. Non-structural measures can be found in a wide range of areas in the disaster management cycle, including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Non-structural measures in the "mitigation" category include "building a cooperative and coordinated system," "raising awareness of disaster preparedness," "citizen participation" and "stable financial support". The non-structural measures in the "mitigation" category are more long-term than the non-structural measures in the "preparation" category.