Policy Actions of Texas Gulf Coast Cities to Mitigate Hurricane Damage: Perspectives of City Officials
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the policy actions of Texas Gulf Coast cities to mitigate the risk for potential hurricane damage. After conducting a review of the scholarly literature on hurricane damage mitigation policy, fourteen mitigation policy actions were identified, and then divided into the following five categories: building codes, the planning process, incentives to mitigate, assess vulnerability and resilience, and mitigation through zoning. After administering a survey to city officials in the Texas Coastal Zone, a preliminary assessment of the utilization of the fourteen mitigation policy actions was conducted. Method: Survey research was the sole method of data collection for this study. The survey was sent to 71 city officials for cities located in the Texas Coastal Zone with some form of local government. The fourteen policy actions identified in the scholarly literature served as a framework that was used to develop the survey instrument. Descriptive statistics were utilized to analyze the collected survey data; this included the mean, median, mode and frequency distribution. Findings: Preliminary findings suggested respondents were utilizing policy actions in some categories while neglecting other categories. Specifically, respondents were not using zoning practices to mitigate nor were they offering incentives to landowners to encourage mitigation efforts.