Tuesday, August 10, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to Noon MT

Mitigation Messaging and Planning Research From the Mitigation Matters Award Program

MMW August

Webinar Description:

The Natural Hazards Center has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create the Mitigation Matters Research Program which provides funding to researchers to conduct studies on hazard mitigation programs, policies, and implementation practices. To date, 19 research teams have been funded by this program.

These mitigation projects focus on a range of topics including research that examines the persuasive impact of risk communication messages and federal recovery funds on mitigation behavior, along with work highlighting gaps in planning efforts for public housing residents. We hope you will join us for this upcoming webinar that will feature presentations from three of our recently funded teams. Each presentation will last about 15 minutes, and then there will be time for questions and dialogue. You can access already published Mitigation Matters Reports and Research Briefs on the Natural Hazards Center website.


JungKyu Rhys Lim, University of Maryland
Motivating Mitigation Behavior: Developing and Testing Social Norms and Self-Efficacy Messages

Sayma Khajehei, University of Utah
Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning for Public Housing in Salt Lake County, Utah

Maria Watson, Texas A&M University
The Effect of Federal Recovery Funds on Mitigation Behavior

Natural Hazards Center Overview Slides
Rhys Lim Presentation Slides
Khajehei Presentation Slides
Watson Presentation Slides

JungKyu Lim

JungKyu "Rhys" Lim studies risk communication to help individuals, communities, and organizations better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from risks and crises. He has examined weather and climate disasters (e.g., hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and tornadoes), infectious diseases, aging, automation, and climate change. Lim has a PhD in communication from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has worked as a social science consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank.

Sayma Khajehei

Sayma Khajehei is a PhD student in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah with a research interest in housing recovery from disasters. Her research examines the housing resiliency of socially vulnerable populations towards natural hazards. She completed her master’s degree in community and regional planning at Iowa State University in 2019. In her master’s thesis, Khajehei explored the recovery challenges of public housing residents in Lumberton, North Carolina, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Khajehei was a fellow of the Global Change and Sustainability Center at the University of Utah in the school year of 2019-2020.

Maria Watson

Maria Watson's research focuses on the factors impacting community recovery and mitigation and the interdependency among small businesses and households in community resilience. She is particularly interested in the effectiveness of disaster programs and how these programs can be structured to better meet recovery needs. Watson has been a part of multiple interdisciplinary disaster recovery research efforts. She recently received a National Science Foundation grant to lead a research team looking at disparities in nonprofit and business impact and recovery in Beaumont, Texas, Port Arthur, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana after COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and Delta.