Hazard Mitigation and Preparation

Vermont’s 2023 State Hazard Mitigation Plan assessed the natural hazard impacts most likely to affect the state. These are evaluated in each Municipality’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and include:

Fluvial Erosion               Inundation Flooding             Severe Heat              High Winds

Severe Snow                  Ice Storm                                Severe Cold             Drought     

Invasive Species            Landslide                               Wildfire                     Infectious Disease Outbreak

Earthquake                     Hail Storm

Hazard-Specific Resources

Potential mitigation Actions and Resources for these hazards are listed below and may be used as a reference in municipal all-hazard Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs):

Fluvial Erosion

Know your Flood-Alert terms:

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Watches are issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) 12 to 36 hours in advance of a possible event.
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash Flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.  A Flash Flood could occur without warning.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately and stay away from streams and creeks.

What to do In Case of a Flood:

  • If you ever encounter flood waters NEVER attempt to walk or drive through them.
  • Stay away from ALL floodwaters.
  • Monitor Media reports.
  • Subscribe to Vermont Alert for up to the minute updates on weather, traffic, and others.
  • Ask local officials whether your property is in a flood-prone or high-risk area. Flood plain maps are available at most town offices or city halls.
  • Listen to local and state Public Safety officials and respond to their directives in a prompt manner.
  • Know your best flood evacuation routes, potential public shelters, and where to find high ground. In a flash flood, you may need to seek high ground on foot quickly.

What to do to Prepare for Flooding

  • Install ‘check valves’ in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains in your home.
  • Ensure your home is ready. Where possible, minimize damage from basement flooding by elevating utilities and materials that could be damaged by limited basement flooding.
  • Anchor fuel tanks to ensure that they do not wash away, creating a safety and environmental issue inside or outside the home.
  • Develop a Family Emergency Kit.
  • Make a Family Communication Plan. Designate an out of state relative as a central point of contact.
  • Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Know how to safely turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate.
  • Contact your insurance agent or local government to discuss flood insurance coverage.

More at: https://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/floods

Severe Heat

Heat illnesses can be deadly. On very hot days, sometimes your body temperature control systems can’t keep up and your body temperature can get dangerously high. This makes you at greater risk for serious heat illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Dial 9-1-1 or get immediate medical help if you are concerned about your health or someone else’s health when it’s hot outside.

**Never leave children, vulnerable adults, or pets inside a parked vehicle when it’s hot. The sun can turn a vehicle into an oven within minutes, even if it doesn’t feel hot outside.**

Map of locations where the public can cool off during extreme heat

Stay Cool

  • Stay in the shade, in air-conditioning if you can, or in cool places such as basements.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take cool showers.
  • Use fans, but don’t rely on them as the only way to stay cool.
  • Go to public buildings that are air-conditioned.
  • Sleep without sheets.
  • Avoid hot drinks and meals.

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink more water than usual, especially if you’re exercising or active outdoors.
  • Be proactive, don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
  • Don’t drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

Stay Informed

  • Follow local weather and news reports.
  • Sign up for weather alerts at VT-Alert.
  • Try out the National Weather Service Experimental Enhanced Weather Outlook Map.
  • Follow social media accounts of government organizations.

Be Mindful of Health Impacts

  • Take it easy when it’s hot.
  • Reduce outdoor work and exercise and limit it to the cooler parts of the day.
  • Ask for help if you feel sick.
  • Stop what you are doing if you feel faint or weak.
  • Be more cautious if you have a chronic health condition.

Check on Vulnerable Friends, Family, and Neighbors

  • Call your loved ones and neighbors to check on them, especially if they are older or have chronic health conditions.
  • Make sure they are drinking enough water and are staying cool.
  • Remind them to take heat seriously.

Keep Your Home Cool

  • Draw light-colored shades to keep out the sun—dark-colored shades can be less effective.
  • Close windows during the day when it is hotter outside than inside.
  • Open windows at night when it’s cooler outside than inside.
  • Use fans to blow in cooler outside air or vent out warmer inside air.
  • Limit use of the stove, oven and other heat-generating appliances.

High Winds

Severe Snow

Ice Storm


Infectious Disease Outbreak

Severe Cold

Invasive Species





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