An analysis of the cost of hazard mitigation planning policy in local and regional government



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Texas Tech University


According to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-390), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) subsequent Interim Final Rule (44 CFR Parts 201 and 206), local governments are required to write and gain approval for a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). Once the plan has been approved by FEMA, the authoring jurisdiction(s) is eligible to apply for and receive federal grant funding through programs such as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program (PDM). A pilot study conducted on the completion of HMPs revealed that over 90% of plans were completed multi-jurisdictionally, although approximately two-thirds of local governments in the United States remain without plans. An examination of disaster management literature reveals that planning activities and specifically the role of multi-jurisdictional cooperation in these activities, remains poorly understood. The analysis presented in this dissertation includes that of the pilot study, the creation of a conceptual model of emergency management in the United States, and the results of a statistical analysis of the cost to single and multi-jurisdictional planning entities for the creation of a HMP. The results of the analysis indicate that the cost of a HMP varies significantly depending on four community factors, and can be approximated using a regression model. The recommendation is made that multi-jurisdictional planning efforts be highly favored over single-jurisdictional ones for cost-reducing purposes, particularly for those jurisdictions which experience a low frequency of natural hazards. Questions regarding the role of multi-jurisdictional entities in the mitigation of natural disasters are also recommended for potential avenues of future research.