Little empirical evidence exists to shed light on what factors influence the establishment of local hazard mitigation projects. One objective of this study is to provide such evidence through an examination of patterns in the Community Rating System (CRS) scores across a panel of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) communities. In the process, this work will benefit the Census Bureau by developing means for increasing the utility of Census Bureau-collected data, linking relevant external data, and producing population estimates. The researchers will test a number of hypotheses previously offered to explain why some local governments adopt hazard mitigation but others do not.
The research will focus on flood hazard mitigation projects in 1104 NFIP communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia between 2005 and 2009, but the results will generalize across other flood-prone communities around the nation. By examining the influence of physical, risk, and socioeconomic factors on community hazard mitigation decisions as reflected in CRS scores for these areas, the results will forge a better understanding of community decision making under natural hazard risk on a national scale.