Panel: A Comprehensive Perspective on Managing Natural Disasters: Mitigation, Response, and Recovery across the U.S. Communities
(Natural Resource, Energy, and Environmental Policy)

Thursday, November 7, 2019: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Plaza Building: Lobby Level, Director's Row I (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Qing Miao, Rochester Institute of Technology
Panel Chair:  Lily Hsueh, Arizona State University
Discussants:  Simon Andrew, University of North Texas and John Grathwol, New York City Office of Management and Budget

As climate change and natural disasters intensify, how to manage the weather- and climate-related risk is an important question for both policymakers and researchers. In the United States, disaster management is often considered as multi-phased process that involves mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disaster shocks. This process also involves different levels of government, both public and private organizations, communities and individuals. Considering the wide range of functions and stakeholders involved, disaster management has been a complex policy system and challenge. The goal of this panel is to provide a comprehensive perspective on managing natural disasters in the U.S. context. The panel is comprised of four research papers that examine different phases in the disaster management process (including mitigation, response, and recovery) focusing on different actors and types of government intervention and coordination at the community level.  


The first paper examines community participation in the Community Rating System (CRS), which is voluntary program created as part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The CRS is designed to incentivize community-level flood mitigation activities by offering NFIP-participating communities discounted flood insurance premiums. Given the low participation rate in CRS despite its effectiveness in reducing flood losses, this research seeks to understand the factors that influence a community’s decision to participate in CRS. The second paper focuses on disaster response and recovery, and specifically, examines the role and operation of non-established relief networks/groups (NERGs) that usually dissolve few weeks in the aftermath of a disaster shock. Based on interviews, this research analyzes the formation and involvement of NERGs during Hurricane Irma, which provides important insights into interorganizational coordination in disaster response. The third paper focuses on federal buyout of floodplain properties, which often occurs in the post-disaster recovery stage as a long-term mitigation policy option. Government-funded buyouts often pose various challenges for property owners and communities in terms of relocation and fiscal impacts. This research explores the drivers of federal buyouts of floodplain properties (through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program Grant), with a focus on the potential effect of local socioeconomic characteristics, housing prices, fiscal stance, and political factors. The last paper examines decision-making related to preparing for and recovering from repeated disasters in the business environment. Using a unique experiment design, the paper examines the potential effect of advisory recommendation and information on business resilience investment.


All four papers in this panel are linked by the unifying theme of natural disaster management, while they each provide a unique perspective on managerial functions and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders. All together, these papers provide insights into the process of disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery at the community level. The findings of these papers shed light on the efficacy of various government disaster programs and have important implications on how to promote community resilience to disaster shocks in the long run.


Participation and Non-Participation in FEMA’S Community Rating System (CRS) Program: Insights from CRS Coordinators and Floodplain Managers
Jenna Tyler1, Akeem Sadiq1 and Douglas Noonan2, (1)University of Central Florida, (2)Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

What Drives Voluntary Government Buyouts of Flood-Zone Properties: Empirical Evidence from U.S. Counties
Qing Miao, Rochester Institute of Technology and Meri Davlasheridze, Texas A&M University

Explaining Resilience Actions Under Repeated Disasters: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment
Robert Greenbaum, Noah Dormady and Matthew Pesavento, The Ohio State University