Analysis of Federal Mitigation Policy in the U.S.: Mitigation Plans, Expenditures, Civic Engagement, and Local Capability (2008-2014)

The nation is making a major investment in hazard mitigation planning since adoption of the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA) of 2000. This Deparment of Homeland Security funded study involves a collaborative partnership between CSCD and the UNC Center for Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management. The study examines the factors motivating local jurisdictions to voluntarily adopt DMA plans, and enact incentives/disincentives, and use federal funds to mitigate hazards resulting from the DMA plans. Mitigation includes avoidance of development in hazardous areas through land use planning, restoration and protection ecosystem serves that offer mitigation functions, and retrofit of infrastructure systems. The study will entail an examination of the variability of community mitigation efforts through indicators of the planning process that include civic engagement, local jurisdiction commitment to mitigation, availability and quality of scientific information on vulnerability, strength of state mitigation plans and programs, severity of local risk, and prior disaster losses. The study will also include community demonstration sites will be the focus of application best practices for building local capability to plan and advance mitigation through the use of state-of-the-art public engagement techniques that include visualization techniques, hazards modeling and mapping, and other means to assess the influence of infrastructure systems on real estate development decisions. This study is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence (CHC) research lead, housed at the UNC Hazards Center.


Berke, Philip, Ward Lyles, and Gavin Smith. 2014. Impacts of Federal and State Hazard Mitigation Policies on Local Land Use Policy, Journal of Planning Education and Research

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Berke, Philip, Gavin Smith and Ward Lyles. 2012. Planning for Resiliency: An Evaluation of State Hazard Mitigation Plans under the Disaster Mitigation Act. Natural Hazards Review 13(2): 139-149.

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Berke, Philip and Ward Lyles. 2013. Public Risks and the Challenges to Climate Adaptation:  A Proposed Framework for Planning in the Age of Uncertainty. Cityscape: Journal of Policy Development and Research 15(1): 189-216.

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Lyles, Ward, Philip Berke, and Gavin Smith. 2014. A Comparison of Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Quality in Six States, USA., Landscape and Urban Planning 122 (February): 89-99.

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Lyles, Ward, Philip Berke, and Gavin Smith. 2014. Do Planners Matter? Examining Factors Driving Incorporation of Land Use Approaches into Hazard Mitigation Plans, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 57(5): 792-811.

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Smith, Gavin, Ward Lyles, and Philip Berke. 2013. The Role of the State in Building Local Capacity and Commitment for Hazard Mitigation Planning, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 31 (2): 178-203.

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