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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This master’s thesis examines the relationship between emergency management planning and comprehensive land use planning. The incorporation of emergency management practices into the comprehensive planning process allows for a better understanding of the impact of development, zoning, building code, and economic development on the mitigation of hazards that face the community. Academic curricula may provide a brief introduction of the relationship between hazard mitigation and land use; however, a more detailed exploration of how emergency management planning and regional or urban planning are interrelated is needed. The impact of weather-related events, natural disasters, or other human-caused shock or disruption can dramatically impact the physical, social, and psychological structures of a community. This research provides regional planners with the history of emergency management planning in the United States. It examines how cross-sharing of information and process between both planning disciplines can contribute to more robust community development and disaster plans. A case study illustrates the impact of urban development on natural hazard mitigation and the subsequent risks to public safety, which resulted from the planning decisions. Place identity, place dependence, and public participation concerning hazard mitigation and disaster management are explored to provide planners and emergency managers with a context of the psychological influences which may impact a community member’s decisions when faced with significant disruption of place. Best practices that guide the integration of regional planning and emergency management planning are provided to increase the understanding of both planning processes to increase the capacity of a community to absorb and rebound from a natural disaster or sudden shock.


First Advisor

Elizabeth Brabec

Second Advisor

Ellen Pader

Third Advisor

Robert Ryan