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Toward multihazard mitigation: An evaluation of FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plans under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000

Oluponmile O. Olonilua, PhD, Olurominiyi Ibitayo, PhD


This article evaluates the extent to which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-approved plans submitted by local and tribal governments in response to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA2K) comply with the requirements of the Act.The DMA2K requires state, local, and tribal governments to develop a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan to remain eligible for predisaster funding. The specific requirements investigated in this study are collaboration with several identified stakeholders in the planning process and in the mitigation action section of the plans, incorporation of public information and awareness in the mitigation action section, and public participation both in the process of developing the plans and in the mitigation action section of the plans. Other requirements include the incorporation of evacuation and sheltering as elements of multihazard plan, terrorism, technological hazard, and “special needs” population. A total of 202 FEMA-approved hazard mitigation action plans were selected using both stratified and purposive sampling, and the result of the evaluation shows that the extent of compliance by cities and counties in the sampled multijurisdictions with the requirements of DMA2K and FEMA is generally low. For example, more than 70 percent of cities in four of the sampled multijurisdictions did not include evacuation or sheltering in their hazard mitigation action plans.With the exception of provision for special needs population, t-test analyses of all requirements show no significant difference between plans produced by counties and cities. This study provides a policy learning opportunity for policy makers, emergency management officials, and many other stakeholders to make necessary adjustments to the hazard mitigation plans while reviewing and updating approved plans. This is especially true as DMA2K requires that plans must be updated and reviewed after 5 years.


hazard mitigation, emergency management, Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, collaboration, public information and awareness, Federal Emergency Management Agency, evacuation, multiple hazards

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