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Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

2021 Lower Connecticut River Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG), with our consultants Dewberry Engineers, Inc., have updated 15 of our 17 communities’ Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans. They are a requirement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for municipalities to apply for FEMA hazard mitigation grants and must be updated every five years to stay eligible for grant funding. The plans provide an important opportunity for communities to come together and assess their ability to withstand and recover from a natural disaster and prioritize actions to mitigate damage caused by future natural disasters.

This plan analyzes the natural hazards that could impact the region, determines risk and vulnerability, and defines actions that will be taken to make our region more resilient to natural disasters.

The Communities participating in this update include:

  • Chester
  • Clinton
  • Cromwell
  • Deep River
  • Durham
  • East Haddam
  • East Hampton
  • Essex
  • Haddam
  • Killingworth
  • Lyme
  • Middlefield
  • Middletown
  • Old Lyme
  • Portland

Click here for the recently updated Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans for Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The updated plan is a multijurisdictional plan with 15 annexes.  One for each community.

Natural hazards are extreme natural events that pose a risk to people, infrastructure, and resources. Hazard mitigation planning and resultant actions reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people, property, and resources from natural hazards and their effects.  Floods, nor’easters, and hurricanes rank amongst the region’s greatest concerns. Although less of a concern the plan will also looks at wild fires, drought, and extreme hot and cold among others.

Hazard mitigation plans look to:

  • Reduce loss of life
  • Reduce damage to property and infrastructure
  • Reduce costs to residents and businesses for things like insurance, repair costs, and taxes
  • Reduce municipal service costs (e.g. emergency response and infrastructure maintenance)
  • Educate residents and policy makers concerning natural hazards and mitigation possibilities
  • Connect hazard mitigation planning activities to other community planning efforts and
  • Enhance and preserve natural resources systems.

Every community is unique but some common mitigation actions include replacement of undersized culverts, flood proofing a school or fire station, purchase of a flood prone property for open space, or creation of educational material concerning natural hazards and mitigation actions for a community’s citizens.

The updates began in December 2019 with a regional planning team meeting and into January 2020 with a visit to each town to review existing plans with municipal staff.  There were opportunities for public involvement through regional public meetings with presentations, a web-based survey, and opportunities to comment on the draft plan into the winter of 2020. The plan was approved by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) and FEMA and was adopted by each community and River COG in the summer of 2021. 

More Information:

2017 and 2020 Flood  Resiliency Study – Please read the next 3 documents together.  This study was updated as part of this NHMP update and is included as Appendix C and as a new layer to the ArcGIS Map Package.  We are asking for our municipalities to help with ground truthing the data of this research project.

Please send comments or questions to: 

Scott Choquette @ scho[email protected] , or

Margot Burns @   [email protected]


Notice of Funding Opportunity for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants FY 2021  Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities –  Due 1/28/22




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