Mitigation in Motion: An Asessment of Natural Hazard Mitigation in Local Comprehensive Plans
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Since the passage of the Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA) of 2000, thousands of local governments in the US have adopted hazard mitigation plans (HMPs) that address natural and manmade hazards, making them eligible for federal funding that can assist in pre and post-disaster hazard mitigation activities. However, the extent to which HMPs are being implemented is still unclear— both on the ground and through existing local planning mechanisms. This study assesses how HMPs are implemented through local comprehensive plans, and how this plan integration varies given different state and local factors. Using content analysis, it assesses this plan integration in 40 counties from three Western US states. The results reveal an overall low degree of integration between HMPs and comprehensive plans, yet with substantial variation by state, hazard type, and type of mitigation activity. These results lead to suggestions for improving the interconnections between HMPs and local comprehensive plans, and provide useful avenues for further research on the implementation of local natural hazard mitigation priorities in a post-DMA planning context.