Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Michela Zonta


This thesis evaluates whether or not information data sharing is effectively used between federal, state, and local government agencies and non-governmental agencies in a metropolitan area during and immediately after a major natural disaster. Also, whether vulnerable populations were identified and considered during emergency management. The chosen study area is the City of Richmond, VA, and the disaster response is based on flooding episodes that occurred in the city over the last decade following hurricanes and tropical depressions. Questionnaires were administered to representatives of federal, state, and local agencies and NGOs. The questionnaires consisted of a Likert-style series of 10 questions and a group of more broadly based and open ended questions that were administered in person or by phone and included four questions designed to identify progress made since the last disaster. The self-administered Likert-style of questions consisted of identifying agency planning and operational activity, interaction with other agencies, means for data collection, use of FEMA’s Partnership Guides, and communication with the public. These questions were also designed to identify the agency activity in each of the four major areas of emergency management, namely mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In general there appears to be good lines of communication, co-operation, and interaction between agencies based on the concept that disaster management is a local issue and only involves the state and federal governments in cases of very severe disasters. Consistent with this was the fact that there was essentially no use of the FEMA Partnership Guide by state and local agencies. GIS capacity is generally good, as is data sharing via a number of methods, including regular meetings. A variety of methods are used to inform the general public, including reverse 911, radio, television and social networks although vulnerable populations may have difficult accessing some of these.


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Is Part Of

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Is Part Of

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Date of Submission

May 2012