Flood Resilience

Flood Resilience is a term that has become more commonly used, and generally means that damages are minimized during times of flooding resulting in less risk to people and infrastructure and ensuring that there is ample room for flooding and river adjustment to occur where the opportunity may exist. It also means that flood recovery may be less expensive and may get people back on their feet more quickly than in past flood events, and that the water resource is not negatively affected and is able to recover on its own. It is a way of helping people and communities live with and plan for flooding.

Flood resilience is not something that happens by chance but is the result of a community taking active steps to become Flood Ready, before and after flood events.  Flood preparedness, or the steps that a community may take prior to having a flood event, may involve assessing the community’s land use plans and policies to minimize conflict between built infrastructure and the floodplain or river corridor, identifying and implementing various flood mitigation measures to reduce risk and exposure during flooding, working to improve the community’s ability to respond during a flood, and identifying strategies for recovery after a flood.

After a flood has occurred, flood resiliency during recovery may often involve being able to communicate information to residents quickly, knowing the recovery resources available to the community and its residents, helping residents understand what mitigation measures may be required for repairs or rebuilding, or what types of programs may be available for home buy-outs or other mitigation projects.

While the resources on these pages may help get your community started working towards flood resiliency, please be aware that many other helpful resources exist. Please speak with your regional Floodplain Manager, your local Regional Planning Commission, Vermont Emergency Management, or other watershed groups for more information.