Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience: Lessons from Vermont

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published this 2014 report titled Planning for Flood Recovery & Long-Term Resilience in Vermont: Smart Growth Approaches for Disaster-Resilient Communities. In these days of increasingly numerous and severe flooding events worldwide, the report is more relevant than ever.

Flooding from storms affects many communities across the country, causing billions of dollars of damage annually. Climate change projections suggest that storms will likely become more frequent and stronger in many regions of the country in the future.

In light of these trends, many communities want to improve disaster recovery and long-term flood resilience planning. “Flood resilience” means measures taken to reduce communities’ vulnerability to flooding and support long-term recovery after a flood.

Communities throughout Vermont faced this reality when Tropical Storm Irene hit in 2011, devastating infrastructure, communities, and lives. In 2012, in the wake of Irene, the state of Vermont requested Smart Growth Implementation Assistance from EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The assistance focused on incorporating smart growth principles into state policies, local development regulations, and Hazard Mitigation Plans to increase community flood resilience.

Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont includes:

  • Overall strategies for flood resilience and disaster recovery.
  • Local land use policy options and strategies to improve flood resilience.
  • State policy options and strategies to improve flood resilience.

See introductory page on EPA site.

Download full report (PDF).

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