Natural Hazard Mitigation: Professionalization of the Policy Making Process

August 1984 (VOL. 2, NO. 2)

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Liability and increased federal involvement in issues of public safety has resulted in the development of a bewildering array of agencies and entities at all levels of government. In spite of this increased involvement, losses from catastrophic natural hazardous events are continuing to increase at an alarming rate. Although there is an increased federal involvement, primary responsibility and authority for dealing with the problems associated with natural hazard exposure rests with the states and local governments. However, the capacity of state and local governments to deal with these problems is significantly constrained by geophysical, ecological, and sociopolitical factors. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the context in which natural hazard problems are defined and policies adopted in the United States. Further we will examine the barriers to the adaptation and implementation process is presented as a basis for increased success in reducing societal risks to natural hazards.