Funded Research Projects: SOCIAL SCIENCES

Hazard Planning and Mitigation: The Role of Governance Factors in Community Resilience

Research Sponsored By: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Principal Investigator: Clare Ryan
Project Description
This research addresses the question: What factors facilitate or hinder efforts to mitigate impacts to critical facilities in communities in Washington? Coastal and marine communities in Washington are dynamic regions at risk for multiple chronic and catastrophic hazards such as earthquakes, floods and tsunamis. These communities are increasingly susceptible to long-term changes resulting from climate change (Tribbia & Moser, 2008). Some coastal communities have prepared plans that recognize the importance of hazard mitigation for reducing vulnerability, improving preparedness and increasing their resiliency in the face of natural and climate-induced threats. Reducing the vulnerability of these facilities is a critical issue in implementing successful hazard mitigation efforts and improving community resilience to natural disasters. However, implementation of these plans is challenging due to the multiplicity of organizations and the competing pressures for time, resources and attention. Some communities have been able to implement their plans and mitigate critical facilities through coordinated responses, while others have not. The project goal is to examine communities that have mitigated critical facilities and those that have not been mitigated to identify the key factors inducing action in a complex collaborative governance setting.