Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness
In September 2016, Governor Baker issued Executive Order 569, directing the Secretary of the Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Secretary of Public Safety to coordinate efforts across the Commonwealth to strengthen the resilience of communities, prepare for the impacts of climate change and mitigate damage from extreme weather events. The state agencies were charged with establishing a framework that each City and Town could use to assess local vulnerabilities to climate change and to develop appropriate action-oriented response strategies
The Commonwealth’s agency response is the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant Program (MVP) which provides Massachusetts communities with support to plan for resilience and implement key adaptation actions. The MVP framework, developed by The Nature Conservancy, employs a workshop-based model designed to help local stakeholders in:
- Characterizing climate-related and extreme weather hazards of highest concern to the community;
- Understanding the science of climate change and adaptation. EOEEA has established a website www.resilientma.org as a data clearinghouse for science and state-specific geographic data on climate change;
- Identifying existing and future vulnerabilities and asset strengths in areas of infrastructure and critical facilities, socio-economic characteristics and environmental resources;
- Developing and prioritizing actions for community resilience based on identified opportunities for risk reduction and resilience building;
- Implementing key actions through community partnerships.
With completion of the resilience building planning process, a city or town can become a formally designated MVP community, eligible for MVP action grants to undertake technical plans as well as design and construct priority resilience projects.
MVPC is a certified MVP Provider
The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) is a Certified MVP Provider with a strong working knowledge of Merrimack Valley Communities and a track record of completing successful planning initiatives including the 2016 Update of the Merrimack Valley Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. MVPC works collaboratively with town/city staff and key stakeholders to identify risk impacts of Climate Change as well as guide development of strategies to mitigate losses associated with the projected increase in the frequency and intensity of natural hazard events. Using the Community Resilience Building Guide (CRB) framework, MVPC conducts workshops designed to generate awareness among municipal officials and the public about natural hazard and climate change risks. MVPC documents the workshop outcomes in a user-friendly, comprehensive action agenda report that can be integrated within the structure of each town/city’s existing emergency response and hazard mitigation plans as a resource and guide for municipal officials in implementing action priorities.
MVPC has served as certified provider to Andover (2019), Lawrence and Methuen during the designation process and has participated in the plans for Boxford, Newbury and Newburyport.
Our MVP program supports cities and towns as they build resilience to climate change.