Natural Hazards

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 783–804 | Cite as

Evaluating climate change adaptation efforts on the US 50 states’ hazard mitigation plans

  • Qiao Hu
  • Zhenghong TangEmail author
  • Lei Zhang
  • Yuanyuan Xu
  • Xiaolin Wu
  • Ligang Zhang
Original Paper


Climate change brings uncertain risks of climate-related natural hazards. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA in Climate change: long-term trends and their implications for emergency management, 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 historic 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.


Climate change State hazard mitigation plan (SHMP) Awareness Analysis Action Mitigation Adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiao Hu
    • 1
  • Zhenghong Tang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lei Zhang
    • 2
  • Yuanyuan Xu
    • 3
  • Xiaolin Wu
    • 3
  • Ligang Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Community and Regional Planning Program, College of ArchitectureUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Urban Planning and Management, School of Public Administration and PolicyRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Public AdministrationCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  4. 4.School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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