Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative and Final Report
Developed by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative (VERI) evaluated and ranked Vermont communities where economic activity and the associated infrastructure are at high risk of flooding. The goal of the project is to help communities recover quickly from disasters, minimize interruptions to businesses and the local economy, and reduce flood recovery costs. The Initiative was designed to provide a foundation to develop community-tailored action plans to reduce the loss of jobs, inventory, revenue, as well as the cost to repair roads, bridges, and other key infrastructure. The VERI Project Report describes the data gathering, the community ranking process, the community engagement, policy review, and steps to identify project recommendations.
*This information could be useful to any region or community working to reduce its flood risks and protect its businesses and economy from future floods.
The project identified Vermont’s top 32 communities where infrastructure and economic activity are at a known high risk of flooding. Based on this state-wide ranking, input from economic development experts, and other selection criteria, the communities of Barre City and Town, Brandon, Brattleboro, Enosburg Village and Town, and Woodstock were chosen to receive technical assistance to help them identify projects that reduce, avoid or minimize these risks and ensure local businesses quickly bounce back from floods. The five pilot communities were studied and were given recommendations and assistance for policy changes, transportation infrastructure, property buy-outs and other strategies to reduce the impact flooding.
VERI is modeled after a successful project in Bennington, VT that identified and implemented projects that minimized business interruption and substantially reduced flood recovery costs from Tropical Storm Irene.
Chapter 2: ‘Assessing State-Wide Risk, Economic Activity and Associated Infrastructure’ explains how Vermont evaluated and weighed the many hazards and the steps used to measure and evaluate local economic activity on a statewide basis. It describes the state’s process to create a statewide flood map that combined FEMA’s inundation maps with protocols for a state river corridor map that delineated fluvial erosion hazard areas. It then describes how the statewide flood maps were combined with existing data on road infrastructure and buildings to assess and rank economic vulnerability.The VERI Project Report describes the data, collaborators and the step-by-step process used to pinpoint implementation projects by combining inundation and fluvial erosion flood maps with data on critical infrastructure and key economic assets. It details the methodology to rank and select communities for detailed analysis as well as how to engage and involve communities in the process to identify policy changes and projects to minimize the economic impact of future floods.
Publication Date: September 30, 2015
- Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development