Building Capacity for Hazard Mitigation Planning in Low-Capacity Communities

Investigator(s): Rachel Riley, Ed Hecker, Annie Vest, David Vaughn, Shanine Thomas
Research Dates: 2021
Affiliate Organization(s): University of Oklahoma • National Hazard Mitigation Association • FEMA Region VI

A significant portion of SCIPP’s work over the last decade has focused on how climate and hazard information can inform planning and practices. Progress has been made, but hazard mitigation planning is still lacking in the region. Several reasons for why this is the case have been identified. This project addresses one of those reasons, which is the need to develop a hazard mitiation planning template that is useful for low-capacity communities and broadly advances climate resilience and disaster risk reduction. Through a collaboration with the the National Hazard Mitigation Association and FEMA Region VI, this project will address several research questions. The first two questions will be primarily answered through literature review. The second two will be answered by collecting data through focus groups. The research questions are as follows:
1. Why are most low-capacity communities unable to address their existing hazard-related challenges?
2. What additional capacities and capabilities are needed so that low-capacity communities can address their hazard challenges that are being/will be exacerbated by climate change?
3. How should a hazard mitigation planning template be designed so it: a) better aligns with the capabilities and capacities of low-capacity communities and b) advances climate resilience and disaster risk reduction more broadly rather than only meeting a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan requirement?
4. What hazard mitigaiton planning capability and capacity gaps exist that could be addressed by the NHMA Disaster Risk Reduction Ambassador Curriculum and other applicable training curriculums?

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