Resource Allocation For Regional Hurricane Mitigation Planning

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This dissertation introduces a linear program to help guide optimal expenditure of government spending for regional hurricane risk management and to provide insight into some of the complexities involved in designing and prioritizing regional mitigation policies and programs. Specifically, it aims to help answer the questions: (1) How much should be spent on mitigation and acquisition?; (2) What will the return on that investment be?; and (3) How should mitigation funds be spent (i.e., which buildings should be mitigated, how, and when)? The model considers damage from both high winds and storm surge flooding; includes a detailed assessment of the actual risk using a carefully selected set of hurricane scenarios to represent the regional hazard and a component-based damage model; and considers physically realistic mitigation strategies. A heuristic algorithm was developed to solve it for real, regional applications. A case study for residential woodframe buildings in Eastern North Carolina is presented. The case study suggests that spending on pre- and post-event mitigation and acquisition are all cost-beneficial to a point; if funds are spent systematically, much of the benefit can be obtained with a relatively small investment; and in just 30 years, the investment can reduce annual expected reconstruction expenditures substantially, a benefit that would continue into the future. The case study also suggests spending on a range of mitigation strategy types; that it is best to spend mitigation funds as early as possible, where the hazard is highest (i.e. along the coast line); and that strategies affecting combinations of building components can be most cost-beneficial.

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hurricane; mitigation; resource allocation; optimization


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Union Local


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Committee Chair

Nozick, Linda K.

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Gao, Huaizhu
O'Rourke, Thomas Denis

Degree Discipline

Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Ph. D., Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document




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dissertation or thesis

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