Emergency Planning - Preparedness

Individual and Family Preparedness
Individuals and families should always have a disaster kit ready in their homes and vehicles, a plan as to what to do and where to go during emergencies when they cannot use their home. If they have disabled persons, elderly, or pets, their planning should take the special needs of these into account. Using the links immediately below, you can find information on these topics.


Pets and Animals
Pets are often an overlooked factor in family emergency preparedness. Structural damage to homes as well as contaminated food and water pose great risks to a pet left alone during a disaster. This is especially true for people are unavoidably away from their homes longer than expected. Always include your pets in your emergency planning. For more information, use the links below.


Community Preparedness
Governmental agencies, schools, hospitals, and emergency response agencies must take care of themselves during an emergency, as well as perform their function of assisting their constituents. Towns should have an Emergency Operations Center (usually located in a town office) with backup power so they can function under adverse conditions. All communities should also have a designated emergency shelter with backup power and a shelter agreement with the American Red Cross. Contact the American Red Cross, Northern Vermont Chapter at 800-660-9130 about your shelter needs.

Preparation involves training, and emergency responders and elected officials should be conversant with the Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). These are not operational procedures at the town level, but rather organizational systems for running disaster response and recovery.

Preparation also involves planning and, at the minimum, communities must have an up-to-date Rapid Response Plan (RRP) or Basic Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) on file with Vermont Emergency Management, and should have a designated Local Emergency Management Coordinator/Director. NRPC will assist member towns in development of a RRP or Basic EOP. For assistance contact Shaun Coleman at the NRPC.

Communities are also encouraged to adopt a Pre-disaster Mitigation Plan, sound floodplain regulations, and thorough road policies to avoid preventable damage. Schools can use the model School Crisis Guide in their emergency planning efforts. All organizations should have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to ensure they can still perform critical tasks during and after an emergency.

Citizen Corps is FEMA's grassroots strategy to bring together government and community leaders to involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience. Citizen Corps Councils have been established through Local Emergency Planning Committees in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties with assistance from Vermont Department of Public Safety. CCC programs in the state include Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Neighborhood Watch Programs (NWP), Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Follow the links below to learn more about community preparedness activities.

Business and Non-Profit Preparedness
Loss of a private business or non-profit due to the effects of a disaster can ruin the organization and its employees' livelihood, and, if large, cripple a local economy. Business failure due to predictable disasters can also open the company to lawsuits. The links below offer valuable information that will help for-profit and not-for-profit companies weather the strain a disaster can deliver.