Since 2000 the US Federal Disaster Mitigation Act has required states and local jurisdictions to have plans in place to reduce damages from natural disasters events, however a study from the University of Kansas has found that mandating disaster planning has resulted in ‘mediocre’ outputs.
An analysis of two waves of plans from 84 jurisdictions found a mediocre overall quality of plans and little overall improvement from the first wave adopted in the late 2000s to the second wave adopted in the mid-2010s.
Disaster mitigation plans from jurisdictions in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina were analysed. The states share similar hazard exposures and recent disaster experiences, while state policy frameworks that shape local planning vary. The plans were coded on four criteria: public engagement, plan integration, land use policies, and property protection policies.
Resilience Forward comment:
It’s not a huge surprise that when mandated to achieve something, organizations carry out the minimum required to comply. Good planning in any area of resilience requires top management buy-in and enthusiasm, not reluctant tick-box compliance. This is probably a lesson for regulators around the world: the ‘carrot’ approach of selling the benefits of an area such as resilience management is likely to produce higher quality results than the ‘stick’ approach of telling people what they must do.