Pain of Sustainability Limiting the Number of Times Homeowners can Receive DisasterRelief
Start Year: 2014

Pain of Sustainability: Limiting the Number of Times Homeowners can Receive Disaster Relief

A sustainable future for communities that are highly vulnerable to natural hazard events means not locating new sensitive land uses, requiring existing land uses to be retrofitted in order to obtain insurance, and implementing other restrictive policies. Our objective was to measure the willingness of U.S. adult residents of New Jersey, a state devastated three times by major tropical storms in 1999, 2011, and 2012, to agree with a very restrictive policy—placing a limit on the number of times homeowners may receive financial disaster relief from natural hazard events. Using random digit dialing for landline (65%) and cell phone (35%), the authors collected 875 surveys of New Jersey residents in 2013, four months after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of New Jersey. Fifty-nine percent of respondents agreed with this painful policy. They disproportionately were older males who were fiscally conservative, and they took this stance despite personally believing that global climate change-related natural hazard events are real and are a threat. In New Jersey and other states, officials and others responsible for securing public agreement with these programs face a difficult challenge of implementing these programs because of public mistrust of state and federal government as initiators and implementers.