Post-Disaster Assessment of the Performance of Hazard Mitigation Projects: The California SMART Approach
Michael R. Boswell*, William J. Siembieda*,
and Kenneth C. Topping**
*Department of City and Regional Planning, California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-02832, USA
**Topping Associates International, 504 Warwick Street, Cambria, CA 93428, USA
California’s SMART (State Mitigation Assessment Review Team) program for assessing natural hazard mitigation project performance after a disaster is a method of integrating multiple state agencies’ expertise into a working tool for assessing the value of public investments in risk reduction. The intent of the SMART program is to provide the California Emergency Management Agency with information about the performance of publicly financed mitigation projects so that it can better allocate future funding and improve the overall safety of California. A key aspect of the program is the mobilization of California State University faculty and staff from across the state after a disaster in order to conduct rapid performance assessments while field data is available. In order to test the SMART system, a pilot study was conducted using the Yountville Flood Barrier Wall Project performance during a 2005 flood on the Napa River. The case validated the idea that for a flood project, a rapid evaluation could be conducted using field observations that establish the height and extent of flooding and include the project’s original cost-benefit analysis. The data produced from this type of evaluation program will be valuable to state emergency management agencies trying to allocate program grants in the most efficient manner and to government agencies who want to make sure that federal dollars are being spent wisely.
-  Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Loss avoidance study: Southern California flood control mitigation,” HMTAP Task Order 393, April 2007.
-  D. S. Mileti, “Disasters by design,” Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 1999.
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