What To Do Next

Find where you are and take the next step

There are several opportunities to make your community safer before the next flood. The questions below will help you learn more about your current situation and lead you to various strategies. When thinking about what to do first, prioritize preventing new building in risky areas by updating bylaws. Then, consider what you can do to reduce the risk your community already faces.

Know What's at Risk

Where are the floodplains and River Corridors?

Opportunity: Everyone can see which areas in the community are at risk of flood damage.

Tools to help and actions to take
  • Flood Ready Atlas. All River Corridors and about half of all Special Flood Hazard Areas are digitally mapped in the atlas. If data isn't in the atlas, use FEMA's printed maps or find them in your town offices.

 

How many buildings are at risk of a hundred year flood and how can we protect them?

Opportunity: Reduce the risk for families, businesses and the Town through building improvements.

Tools to help and actions to take
Additional resources to consider

 

Which roads, bridges, culverts and services are most at risk?

Opportunity: Keep roads passable for emergency response and recovery, schools, and businesses.

Tools to help and actions to take
Additional resources to consider

 

What Might Flood Damage Cost Our Town?

Money from FEMA after a disaster should always be thought of as the third method of defense in restoring damaged property. Often flood damage to a few sites, or even across the town, is not enough to qualify the flood as a federal disaster.  Therefore, flood insurance is the second method of defense, after the first one of not building in the hazard zone at all. As long as a municipality is participating in the NFIP, flood insurance is available to all structures in the town, not just those mapped in the SFHA. 

Is flood insurance available and used?

Opportunity: Ensure your community has the resources to rebuild after a disaster.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Will we get the maximum recovery funding assistance after a federally-declared disaster?

Opportunity: Get the federal and state governments to cover 92.5% of rebuilding costs instead of only 82.5%.

Tools to help and actions to take
Additional resources to consider

 

Do Our Bylaws, Plans, and Standards Stop the Problem from Getting Worse?

Are new buildings and roads in the floodplain putting existing buildings at risk?

Opportunity: New development will have no adverse impact on existing structures in the floodplain.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider

Are river corridors protected?

Opportunity: The stream channel will have the room it needs to find the slowest path, causing no adverse impact to structures downstream.

Additional resources to consider

Are our road and bridge standards current?

OpportunityVTrans recovery assistance is at highest level.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider

Is our Local Hazard Mitigation Plan current?

Opportunity: Help qualify for ERAF and plan for a safer community.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider

Is our Local Emergency Operations Plan current?

Opportunity: Help qualify for ERAF and effectively meet community needs in emergencies.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider

Do we have a flood recovery plan to direct post-flood recovery  toward safe locations as identified in the municipal plan?

Opportunity: Take advantage of the disaster to rebuild a safer community.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

 

Where can we get assistance in the update process?

Opportunity: Be supported in preparing for the best outcomes.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

 

Are We Flood Ready?

Have we taken steps to reduce risk for individuals, businesses, and the town?

Opportunity: Reduced risk factors for next flood.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider

 

Do we have adequate first responder and road management capacity to respond to and recover from flood damage?

Opportunity: Ready to respond effectively to flood damage, no matter where in our community it strikes, even if roads wash out.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider
  • Consider where first responders and road crew members live, where they will need to get to during a flood event, and how that may influence your response.

Do we have adequate administrative resources to respond to and recover from flood damage?

Opportunity: Municipal services can still operate when most needed.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

 

Do we have adequate financial resources to respond to and recover from flood damage?

Opportunity: Stable municipal budget and qualified for maximum ERAF assistance.

Tools to help and actions to take
  • Get qualified for highest level of ERAF.

  • Does your community need to build a capital reserve to cover the remaining requirement?

 

 

How Can We Make Our Community Even Safer?

Can we slow the water down and give the river more room?

Opportunity: After ensuring we don’t make things worse, we can work to decrease the likelihood of flood damage.

Tools to help and actions to take
  • Hire an engineer to find opportunities.

  • Remove obstructions and fill.

  • Remove structures and bank armoring from the corridor.

 

Additional resources to consider

Is there funding available?

Opportunity: Assist with project cost to reduce risk.

Tools to help and actions to take

 

Additional resources to consider

How Do We Explain How Important This Is for Our Town?

What communication tools can help us tell this story?

Opportunity: After ensuring we don’t make things worse, we can work to decrease the likelihood of flood damage.

Tools to help and actions to take
Additional resources to consider

Reflection Questions

  • Which of the actions above would be relatively easy for your community to start with?
  • What actions feel most important to take for the safety of your community?

Contact Information

Flood Training

Department of Environmental Conservation
River Corridor and Floodplain Protection
Ned Swanberg
802.490.6160
Rivers Program Webpage
FloodReady Website