An Assessment of Coastal Zone Hazard Mitigation Plans in Texas
Jung Eun Kang*, Walter Gillis Peacock**, and Rahmawati Husein**
*Korea Adaptation Center for Climate Change, Knowledge & Intelligence Team, Korea Environment Institute, 290 Jinheungno, Eunpyeong-Gu, Seoul 122-706, Korea
**Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3137, USA
The U.S. Federal EmergencyManagement Agency requires jurisdictions to develop hazardmitigation plans (HMPs) to be eligible for hazard mitigation grants based on the 2000 Disaster Mitigation Act. As of May 2007, over 14,000 local jurisdictions in the US have developed single or multi-jurisdiction local hazard mitigation plans. However, little empirical research has examined the quality of local HMPs. This study develops a comprehensive HMP assessment protocol and then assesses the status of twelve HMPs within the Texas coastal management zone. The components of these plans are systematically examined in order to highlight their strengths and weaknesses. The average plan quality score (PǪS) was only 41.6 on a 100-point scale, with a high of 53.3 and a low of 28.7. Regional and county plans displayed higher PSQs than city plans. Most disconcerting was the finding of very low component quality scores for fact basis at 33.6 and mitigation policies & actions at only 28.2. These two components are at the heart of HMPs. The relatively low PǪS and CǪS results suggest that there are significant improvements that should be undertaken in future iterations of HMPs to better insure long-term disaster resilience of local jurisdictions along the Texas coast.
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