Flood Ready Vermont website

Along with unprecedented damages to Vermont from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, extreme flooding conditions occur regularly across the state. The Flood Ready Vermont website describes the urgency for preparing for flooding at the community level, and provides tools and resources for adaptation and flooding resilience.

The comprehensive website offers:

  • Details on the dangers of flooding and associated costs
  • First steps in building a Community Risk Assessment
  • Descriptions of Vermont’s River Corridors
  • Methods for updating local plans including Municipal, Local Hazard Mitigation, and Local Emergencies Operations Plans
  • Natural flood protection, defining the values of river corridors, floodplains, watersheds, forests, and stormwater management
  • Support for improving flood resiliency of infrastructure
  • Funding opportunities for both flood preparedness and recovery

Tools for determining a community’s risk of flooding are offered including Community Reports, and flood mapping tools. Community and regional reports can be generated for overall exposure to flooding, such as how many buildings are in the Special Flood Hazard Area, and whether a community is qualified for post-disaster support from the Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund. Various mapping tools are linked including the Vermont Flood Ready Atlas to view a community's risk, natural flood protection areas that should be preserved, and where is it safe and unsafe to develop. 

Reasons for “acting now” to prepare for flooding events, as paraphrased from the website, include:

1: State assistance increases when you act - Vermont communities rely on federal Public Assistance grants to repair damage after flooding, and communities will get a higher level of state funding if they have taken basic steps to avoid damage. 

2: Weather is intensifying - Severe storms have gotten more common in Vermont and across the Northeast, and climate models suggest this trend will continue.

3: Planning ahead avoids crisis and cost - Even when flooding or an adaptation plan is not possible, communities can benefit from a single, well-planned project - like upsizing a bridge for example. Preventative or adaptive measures can help to protect public safety and avoid the greater costs of fixing damage after it occurs. 

4: Mitigation funds come to those who plan - Vermont has received $40 million in federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Funds just since Irene, which is only available to towns that have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan.

5: The best solutions may not be available in the future- Protecting intact floodplains and river corridors is the single most cost effective way to prevent future flood damage. 

 

Related Organizations:

  • State of Vermont

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  • Case study
  • Education/training materials
  • Tool (general)
  • Websites

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