Fitchburg, MA HMP-MVP Planning
Weston & Sampson is working with the City of Fitchburg to prepare a joint Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) to mitigate the effects of natural hazards, and a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Plan to increase resilience against climate change. We are leveraging the common steps of both processes, including collecting and reviewing background information on existing conditions and previous natural hazard events. We assisted the city in establishing a municipal planning team whose responsibilities included guiding the public engagement process and reviewing and incorporating recommendations from the public into the city’s proposed hazard mitigation and climate resilience strategies.
Fitchburg is a Gateway City and has a significant environmental justice population. Accordingly, this project will provide enhanced outreach to vulnerable residents. This approach will include coordination with local leadership and organizations, translation of materials, and a set of diverse outreach techniques, including social media. Additionally, we will engage stakeholders through an all-day facilitated Community Resilience Building (CRB) Workshop, following guidance from The Nature Conservancy, and we will assist the city in hosting two public information-sharing listening sessions. These meetings with stakeholders and the public are essential components of both the HMP and MVP process.
The city’s plan will describe the multiple natural hazards potentially affecting the community and consider how climate change will intensify these hazards through more extreme precipitation, more droughts, extreme weather events, and increased temperatures. The plan will identify critical infrastructure, vulnerable populations, and natural resources in Fitchburg that are vulnerable to natural hazards and climate change impacts. The plan will also identify and analyze a comprehensive range of specific mitigation actions and include a list of prioritized hazard mitigation projects that best meet the City of Fitchburg’s needs for multiple hazard damage reduction.
We will prepare the HMP-MVP in accordance with FEMA guidelines for Hazard Mitigation Planning and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs’ requirements for Fitchburg to become a “Certified MVP Community.” With this designation and a completed plan, Fitchburg will be eligible for FEMA grant funding and Massachusetts MVP Action Grants, which are used to implement priority strategies.