From the Thesis Abstract: "Vulnerable populations suffer disproportionate impacts in disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s whole-community approach addresses this disparity in the emergency planning process. An inclusive planning process is needed to operationalize FEMA's whole-of-community concept. This thesis focuses on public engagement as foundational to inclusive planning. This research first analyzed whether prior research translated into useful whole-community planning processes in large urban areas with different hazard profiles. Then, a structured, systematic case examination of four projects--in Hertford, North Carolina; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Los Angeles County, California; and San Antonio, Texas--confirmed the efficacy of the five dimensions of public engagement identified in prior research. In addition to these dimensions, this thesis offers eight new findings. One set identifies factors that affect public engagement: jurisdictional size, poverty and disability, a community's ethnic make-up, and a history of disasters. The other set adds three key dimensions of public engagement: trust among partners, addressing language barriers, and community-specific strategies. The thesis concludes with recommendations for emergency planners, and future research. This thesis supports emergency planners in implementing FEMA's whole-community planning within their varied jurisdictions and contributes to a definition for an inclusive emergency planning process."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/