CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractThis paper describes hazard mitigation grants management activities undertaken by governors, an area that remains understudied. Governors play important roles in other grants management activities, and these actions have the potential to improve hazard mitigation shortcomings. Findings were derived from two projects: (1) a national survey of State Hazard Mitigation Officers (SHMOs) that explored their perceptions of the role of governors in the implementation of federal hazard mitigation programs and policies, and (2) semistructured interviews with individuals who were involved in the implementation of innovative local hazard mitigation grant programs. SHMO survey responses indicate limited engagement in several activities related to FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants. The results of the semistructured interviews show that some governors play important roles in hazard mitigation grants management activities, including facilitating partnerships and governance strategies, guiding state hazard mitigation priorities, and negotiating and securing hazard mitigation funding. Further research is needed to understand why governors assume active or passive roles in hazard mitigation grants management activities.Practical ApplicationsIt is important to understand the hazard mitigation grants management activities undertaken by governors, because their actions have the potential to improve risk reduction efforts across the US, an issue that remains understudied. Information gathered during this study drew from two projects, including a national survey of State Hazard Mitigation Officers, who administer FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants, and personal interviews conducted with those who implemented innovative local hazard mitigation grant programs. Key grants management issues explored included reviewing hazard mitigation policies, setting HMA priorities and approving hazard mitigation plans, attending state agency meetings, and briefing legislators and members of Congress. The results of the survey showed that most governors played a limited role in hazard mitigation grants management, whereas interviews suggest that some governors played important roles in facilitating hazard mitigation partnerships, guiding state hazard mitigation priorities, and negotiating and securing non-federal hazard mitigation funding. The combined findings suggest that the active or passive roles assumed by governors may further the disparities across states regarding their ability to manage HMA grants effectively.



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