The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new tool today to help communities prepare for, deal with and recover from floods. The Flood Resilience Checklist offers strategies that communities can consider, such as conserving land in flood-prone areas; directing new development to safer areas; and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater.
“Flood risk in New England is increasing with climate change,” said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding. “We have seen severe impacts from floods across our region, and we must be thinking about how to prepare for the next big storm. Parts of the Mad River Valley have focused on implementing locally specific smart growth techniques when rebuilding after Tropical Storm Irene. These efforts have contributed to this checklist that will help flood-prone communities think through these issues and come up with the solutions that work best for them.”
The checklist is part of a new report, Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont: Smart Growth Approaches for Disaster-Resilient Communities. The report is a product of EPA’s year-long Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project in Vermont where EPA worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state agencies, including the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Irene. Although the project focused on Vermont, the policy options and checklist in the report can help any community seeking to become more flood resilient.
As part of the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project, FEMA and EPA also supported the development of Vermont State Agency Policy Options, a report that provides more detailed suggestions for how Vermont state agencies can coordinate their efforts to plan for, respond to, and recover from floods.
EPA will host a webinar on lessons learned from the Vermont project on Wednesday, August 13. The webinar will feature speakers from FEMA, the state of Vermont, and the Mad River Valley Planning District.
View the tool and the report: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/sgia_communities.htm#rec1
Learn about the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/sgia.htm
Learn about the webinar: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/webinars/index.html
Download Vermont State Agency Policy Options: http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/strongcommunities/cpr/VT-StateAgencyPolicyOptionsFINAL_web.pdf
Find more resources on EPA’s new Disaster Recovery and Resilience page: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/disaster-recovery-resilience.htm
and on the State of Vermont’s Plan Today for Tomorrow’s Flood page: http://accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/opportunities/planning/resiliency
and Vermont Strong website: http://vtstrong.vermont.gov/