Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Homeland Security

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Sonic Woytonik


Since 2000, the United States has not sustained viable mitigation and preparedness solutions to combat the frequent and intense onset of natural disasters; more must be done on how communities can adapt and withstand them. Instead, environmental and human-induced factors have exacerbated the likelihood of these threats, which has caused billion-dollar weather events to occur more often. This paper focuses on how congressional policymakers would have to incorporate new mitigation/preparedness approaches into current emergency management methodology by creating a new federal statute known as the National Resiliency Act (or similar). A policy like this would strengthen the overall resilience of communities nationwide for disaster events, such as exceeding standard building codes, incorporating robust Emergency Alert Systems (EAS), providing adequate emergency sheltering for low-income areas, and backing current research models constructed by numerous academic stakeholders. Creating a National Resiliency Act (or similar) would show guaranteed results to help subside damage costs due to catastrophic natural disasters, improve community resilience in a more urbanized society, and make billion-dollar events less of a trend for the impending future.


Not much is being done about how communities can achieve better resiliency towards natural disaster events, which can leave devastating long-term effects overnight. Andrew Widdekind takes a crack at answering how a new federal statute, in the form of a National Resiliency Act, would incorporate methods to help communities achieve better resiliency and subside damage costs due to catastrophic disaster events.