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How much do hazard mitigation plans cost? An analysis of federal grant data

Andrea M. Jackman, PhD, Mario G. Beruvides, PhD, PE


Under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s subsequent Interim Final Rule, the requirement was placed on local governments to author and gain approval for a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) for the areas under their jurisdiction. Low completion percentages for HMPs—less than one-third of eligible governments—were found by an analysis conducted 3 years after the final deadline for the aforementioned legislation took place. Follow-up studies showed little improvement at 5 and 8 years after the deadline. It was hypothesized that the cost of a HMP is a significant factor in determining whether or not a plan is completed. A study was conducted using Boolean Matrix Analysis methods to determine what, if any, characteristics of a certain community will most influence the cost of a HMP. The frequency of natural hazards experienced by the planning area, the number of jurisdictions participating in the HMP, the population, and population density were found to significantly affect cost. These variables were used in a regression analysis to determine their predictive power for cost. It was found that along with two interaction terms, the variables explain approximately half the variation in HMP cost.


mitigation, planning, emergency management

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