Community and Regional Planning Program


First Advisor

Zhenghong Tang

Second Advisor

Daniel Piatkowski

Third Advisor

Mark Burbach

Date of this Version

Spring 4-20-2017


Qiao Hu, Zhenghong Tang (2017) Evaluating climate change mitigation and adaptation policies on the u.s. 50 states’ hazard mitigation plans.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning, Under the Supervision of Professor: Zhenghong Tang. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Qiao Hu


Climate change brings uncertain risks of climate-related natural hazards. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA 2011) has issued a policy directive to integrate climate change adaptation actions into hazard mitigation programs, policies, and plans. However, to date there has been no comprehensive empirical study to examine the extent to which climate change issues are integrated into State Hazard Mitigation Plans (SHMPs). This study develops 18 indicators to examine the extent of climate change considerations in the 50 SHMPs. The results demonstrate that these SHMPs treat climate change issues in an uneven fashion, with large variations present among the 50 states. The overall plan quality for climate change considerations was sustained at an intermediate level with regard to climate change-related awareness, analysis, and actions. The findings confirm that climate change concepts and historical extreme events have been well recognized by the majority of SHMPs. Even though they are not specific to climate change, mitigation and adaptation strategies that can help reduce climate change risks have been adopted in these plans. However, the plans still lack a detailed assessment of climate change and more incentives for collaboration strategies beyond working with emergency management agencies.

Advisor: Zhenghong Tang