Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Ross Corotis

Second Advisor

Abbie Liel

Third Advisor

Nevis Cook

Abstract

The type of natural hazard, frequency of occurrence, and their range of consequences have an enormous influence in shaping a person's perceptions of risk. This research demonstrates that risk perception plays a large role in determining future mitigation decisions. Integrating perception factors of dread and familiarity into risk communication has the potential for the development of improved mitigation plans to enhance resilience from natural hazard events. Utilizing a 50-year database of the United States, this paper identifies the consequences of the most significant natural hazards. Graphs and charts are used to convey this crucial information to stakeholders on a regional basis, enabling informed natural hazard policy decision-making. In addition, this research presents a new method of assessing natural hazard risk through the creation of 'hazard region' maps. This allows government entities to visualize natural hazards that result in the largest impact and helps prioritize efforts for reducing overall losses.

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