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Natural Hazards and Public Choice - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125982207, 9781483265513

Natural Hazards and Public Choice

1st Edition

The State and Local Politics of Hazard Mitigation

Authors: Peter H. Rossi James D Wright Eleanor Weber-Burdin
Editor: Peter H. Rossi
eBook ISBN: 9781483265513
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1982
Page Count: 356
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Natural Hazards and Public Choice: The State and Local Politics of Hazard Mitigation presents a research project that emerged from a concern for estimating the balance of support versus opposition to prospective social policies that aim to reduce the risks of damage or injuries from major natural hazard events via the regulation of land use and establishment of building and occupancy standards in high-risk areas. The volume begins with an overview of the research project and the main findings. Separate chapters describe the study design; assess the views of politically influential people regarding the seriousness of natural hazards; measure the support for federal disaster policies; and consider public opinion on hazards-mitigation issues in California. Subsequent chapters cover the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); patterns of activity, influence, and power among key positions and groups in local communities with respect to issues involving disasters; and hazard mitigation activities at the state level.

Table of Contents


List of Tables

1 Policy, Politics, and Natural Hazards: An Overview of Themes and Findings

The Study

The Policy Options

The Salience of Natural Hazards

Support for Policy Alternatives

Popular Assessments of Hazards and Hazard Policies

Elite Appraisals of the NFIP

Patterns of Interest, Group Activity, and Power


2 The Study Design

Defining the Universe

Sampling States

Sampling Local Communities

Selecting Potential Respondents

Interviewing Elites

Who are the Elite?

The California Resident Survey

3 How Important are Natural Hazards Problems to State and Community Elites?

Perceived Seriousness of Natural Hazards

Other Serious Problems Mentioned

Do Some Care More than Others?

Why Some Care

Variation in Hazard Seriousness among States

Variation in Hazard Seriousness among Local Communities

Perceived Hazard Seriousness: Local versus State Elites

Determinants of Individual Seriousness Ratings: Local Elites

Conclusions: on the Seriousness of Natural Hazards

4 Elite Support Levels for Federal Disaster Policy Alternatives

Measuring Support for Global Policy Alternatives

The Mutability of Disaster Policy Preference

Policy Endorsements of Elite Positions

Determinants of Policy Approval by Individuals at the Local Level

Results by States and Local Communities

Assessments of Specific Hazard-Management Programs

Summary and Conclusions

5 Popular Assessments of Hazards and Hazards Policies: The Case of California's Nine Communities

Californians' Ratings of Hazard Seriousness

Levels of Disaster Preparedness

Attitudes toward Federal Hazard-Management Policies


6 Elite Appraisals of the NFIP


Legislation Relevant to the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968

Community Participation

The Role of the Government

The Reactions of State Elites

State Floodplain Regulations and NFIP

State versus Local Elites: Mean Opinions, by State

The Reactions of Local Elites

The Problems, Controversies, and Future of the NFIP

Summary and Conclusions

7 Patterns of Interest and Power in Nonstructural Hazard-Mitigation Politics in Local Communities

Levels of Local Community Activity, by Group and Position

Patterns of Influence

Regular Contact with Groups

Elite Favorability toward Nonstructural Hazard-Mitigation Measures

Who Influences the Elites?

Who Influences City Hall?

Summary and Conclusions

8 Patterns of Group Activity and Power in State Hazard-Mitigation Legislation

Activity Levels

Correlates of Cluster Activity Levels

Perceived Importance of Groups and Positions

Favorability toward Nonstructural Hazard-Mitigation Legislation

Elite Contacts with Groups and Positions

Influences on Respondents

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix A. Survey of Natural Disaster Public Policies: Key Persons Interview Schedule

Appendix B. Survey of Natural Disaster Public Policies: Household Residents Interview Schedule



No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1982
28th January 1982
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Peter H. Rossi

James D Wright

Eleanor Weber-Burdin

About the Editor

Peter H. Rossi

Ratings and Reviews