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Emergency Planning - Mitigation

Hazard mitigation is any action that reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people and property from disasters and their impacts.

NRPC assists towns develop and update their local hazard mitigation plans. The goals of the hazard mitigation plan are to:

Reduce or eliminate threats to life and property, Ensure financial benefit based on damage losses or potential losses, and Solve a repetitive problem.

A hazard mitigation plan can help your community understand how natural hazards impact the immediate environment and aid with development siting and design to limit damages from natural hazards.

Having a hazard mitigation plan makes towns eligible for FEMA grants such as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Flood Mitigation Assistance, and the Pre Disaster Mitigation Competitive grant.

 

Flood Resiliency -
Information for Municipal Plans

 
1. Timing of new requirements:
This requirement goes into effect on July 1, 2014. DHCD interprets this effective date to mean that any municipal or regional plan adopted or readopted after July 1, 2014 must include a flood resilience plan element. Those plans adopted before that date will continue to remain in effect until expiration or until they are amended or readopted, at which point they must include the new flood resilience plan element. The bill also requires ANR to establish a program to aid and support municipalities in adopting the new plan element. View Summary of Act 16: Municipal & Regional Flood Resilience Plan Legislation.

3. Resources under-development:
Toward a More Resilient Vermont
The Institute for Sustainable Communities is working to develop a shared vision and an integrated long term strategy for a resilient Vermont-one that weaves together related but still fragmented state, regional, and local initiatives, and better equips the state to prepare for, respond to, and bounce back from future natural disasters. Visit ISC’s Toward a More Resilient Vermont.

Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund Rule
As mentioned above, there is a new rule regarding state/local match requirements (of the 25% non-Federal share) for FEMA public assistance (P.A.). The VLCT document explains these changes and what impact it will have on municipalities. Starting September 20, 2014, in order for the state to continue to provide funds at 50-50 (i.e. 12.5% of the total PA) our Towns need to have:

  1. Town and road bridge standards consistent with or exceeding those listed under the most current version of Town Road & Bridge Standards, Handbook for Local Officials, published by VTrans;
  2. A flood hazard bylaw, or an adopted interim flood hazard bylaw as an intermediary step (24 VSA §4414), to secure enrollment and participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), if applicable;
  3. A local Hazard Mitigation Plan that meets the provisions of 44CFR § 201.6 that has been approved by the local community and is approved or in the process of securing final approval by FEMA. The local mitigation plan may be part of a larger regional mitigation plan; and,
  4. Adoption of a local Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in accordance with State standards.

To increase the state share to 70-30 (i.e. 17.5% with the towns covering the last 7.5%), a town would need to implement either:

  1. Maintenance of an active rate classification (class #1- 9) under FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) that includes activities that prohibit new structures in mapped flood hazard zones or
  2. Adoption of a Fluvial Erosion Hazard (FEH) or other river corridor or floodplain protection bylaw that meets or exceeds the ANR FEH model regulations and scoping guidelines.

For further information, contact Shaun Coleman at scoleman@nrpcvt.com or by calling our office.