Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

 

First Responder wading through flood water

First Responder wading through flood water. (Date 3.2.2018/ Source: Boston Herald)

Hazard Mitigation planning is a proactive effort to identify actions a community can take to reduce the dangers to life and property from natural hazard events such as flooding, severe winter weather, hurricanes and tornadoes. In the coastal communities of Massachusetts like Quincy hazard mitigation planning tends to focus most on flooding.

City of Quincy's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

The 5-year update for Quincy’s Hazard Mitigation Plan was prepared with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. The plan was adopted by the City in April 2019.

The plan identifies critical community assets and evaluates the risk from natural hazard at these locations. The plan also includes a process to develop and prioritize mitigation strategies to address the hazards impacting the community. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires all municipalities that wish to be eligible to

receive FEMA funding for hazard mitigation grants, to adopt a local multi-hazard mitigation plan and update this plan in five-year intervals.

The planning process included updating the plan to reflect the new Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation Plan and incorporating a variety of natural hazard risk and vulnerability assessments into the plan including future impacts due to climate change. The City of Quincy recognized climate change as a factor that will affect weather patterns, flooding extent, habitat and species distribution, an ultimately impact the ability to recover from disaster and risk to the economy of Quincy. The 5-year update was completed during a year that experienced record setting flood events and extensive damages to coastal properties. These unfortunate events highlighted the importance developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan, including providing opportunities for community engagement, a platform to better understanding changing climate impacts on the Cities resources and providing a systematic plan for funding hazard mitigation projects for Quincy City officials.

Several notable changes to the 5-year update include:

  • Completely revised goals and objectives for Quincy Hazard Mitigation Planning
  • Expansion of natural hazard risk to include climate change
  • Online community engagement tools: community assets viewer and flood observation tool
  • Geographic planning area-based mapping and vulnerability assessment data
  • Widely vetted and systematically prioritized mitigation strategies

A resiliency vision for Quincy includes empowering the residents, business community and City Leaders to make near, mid and long-term changes that will reduce future climate change impacts, protect its vital community assets, and adapt to changes already occurring. The mitigation actions included in the 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan complement and support this resiliency vision.

Neighborhood Summaries

Geographic planning areas were delineated for the Hazard Mitigation Plan primarily based on watershed boundaries and then further refined to include coastal flooding patterns. Community assets within each planning area were identified as being important to the character and function of the City of Quincy. Community assets include critical facilities and infrastructure, societal assets such as churches, schools and community centers, environmental assets such as parks and beaches, and economic assets. Separate summaries were prepared for each geographic planning area that further describe the community assets and their vulnerability to natural hazards.

To view the summary, please click here

Community Assessment Dashboard

Tighe & Bond created an interactive GIS Web based Community Asset tool to view the 325 community assets that were identified as being important to the character and function of the City of Quincy for the 2019 HMP. The tool allows the viewer to select and view specific neighborhoods based on the geographic planning areas defined by the HMP. The viewer can select major asset categories (societal, infrastructure, environment and economy) and subcategories and see the distribution within the planning area. Clicking on the asset reveals some key identification such as asset name, sub type, flood zone and elevation. The site also features different base maps including flooding hazard maps (FEMA 100-year flood and NOAA sea level rise maps. As different items are selected, a summary of impacts appear on the dashboard.

To view the Dashboard, please click here

Quincy's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program (MVP)

In September 2016, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569, directing multiple state agencies to develop and implement a statewide, comprehensive climate adaptation plan using the most recent climate change data available. Recognizing that many adaptation solutions are local in nature, a key commitment of Executive Order 569 is to assist local governments in completing their own assessments and resiliency plans. The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Grant and Designation Program represents the first step in fulfilling this commitment.

The MVP program provides planning grants to municipalities to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans using the nationally recognized Community Resilience Building Framework. Communities who complete an MVP Planning Grant become certified "MVP Communities" and are eligible for Action Grant funding and other opportunities through the Commonwealth.

The City utilized the MVP program to continue addressing the impacts of climate change and mitigation strategies identified in the 2019 HMP. Two public workshops and a listening session were held in the Spring of 2019, providing opportunities for municipal department and community input on the HMP and areas that are vulnerable to natural hazards.

To view the Final Summary Report, please click here