Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Plan 2020
Municipal Vulnerability and Preparedness Planning for the Town of Westford Public Engagement Information
The Town of Westford was recently awarded a $36,000 grant by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Municipal Vulnerability and Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grant program to complete a public engagement and climate resilience planning process before June 30, 2020. Westford’s Town Planner is taking the lead on the MVP program, with participation of a Core Team of Town Staff to plan for ways to better prepare and protect the Town from natural and climate-related hazards. Once the plan is completed and approved by EEA, the Town of Westford will be designated as an MVP Community, joining 287 communities across Massachusetts that have been designated since the MVP program began in 2017. This work also includes preparing a Town-specific Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) 5-year update to help Westford continue to be eligible to receive certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects.
Why plan for climate resilience? Resilience is the ability of a community to address the needs of its built, social and natural environment to anticipate, cope with, and rebound stronger from events and trends related to climate change hazards. Planning for climate resilience allows Westford to build capacity to reduce the impacts from future climate events rather than just react to events as they occur.
How will the public engage? MVP is a Community Driven Process to understand climate vulnerabilities and identify priority actions. MVP provides structured opportunities for public engagement through review of community specific mapping and climate data, participation in unique Community Resilience Building Workshops, and developing priority action plans to improve their community’s resilience with an emphasis on nature-based solutions. There will be a public meeting to review the HMP update, as well.
Due to COVID-19, previously planned public meetings and workshops will be held online.
The Town is utilizing a number of public engagement methods including:
Posting online resources that will be used in the workshops
Conducting pre- and post- workshop surveys
Hosting virtual workshops focusing on climate resilience within the context of Westford’s societal, built infrastructure, natural resources and economic community assets.
Hosting a public meeting and a community listening session
Please take the survey and sign up for the meeting to provide your thoughts.
- Step 1: Take the pre-workshop survey asap. Click here for HANDOUT 1 This should take 10 mins or less.
- Step 2: Sign up for one or more of the workshops. The 1 to 1.5 hour workshops will consist of four separate live webinars discussing climate risks and adaptation related to the following categories:
People and Society: May 14 – 10:30-12:00 PM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/104333837316
Buildings and Infrastructure: May 21 – 10:30-12:00 PM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/104334190372
Economy: May 28 – 10:30-12:00 PM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/104334238516
Natural Resources and the Environment: June 4 – 10:30-12:00 PM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/104334415044
You are encouraged to join all of the webinars, although, you may opt to only attend one.
Please contact Jennie Moonan at JSMoonan@tighebond.com with any questions or concerns about access. Thank you for your consideration and participation!
- Westford’s current Hazard Mitigation Plan, prepared in 2015: http://www.nmcog.org/Websites/nmcog/images/Hazard_Mitigation_Plan_FEMA_approved_8_15.pdf
- Massachusetts’ Climate Change Clearinghouse http://www.resilientma.org/
- State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan (SHMCAP) https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-integrated-state-hazard-mitigation-and-climate-adaptation-plan
- Westford’s Emergency Management Department: https://westfordma.gov/440/Emergency-Management
- Westford’s flood plain maps: https://westfordma.gov/170/Flood-Plain-Information
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How much time will it take to participate?
A: You should plan on spending up to 6 hours over a 6-week period, responding to surveys, previewing planning resources and participating in one or more workshops
Q: Do I have to commit to participating in all of the virtual workshops, or can I choose which ones I want to participate in?
A: You are welcome to join each virtual workshop, but may opt to only attend one. You will be able to view and provide input on all of the recorded workshops, which will each be posted on the municipal MVP website after they are completed.
Q: What if I have special circumstances that prohibit participating in an online format?
A: You can still participate using alternate format materials. Please send an email to Rebecca Cheney, Town Planner, to discuss your needs.
Q: What online meeting platform will be used? Is it easy to join?
A: Skype for Business will be used for the meeting platform. Full instructions will be provided.
Q: I am not very tech savvy. Is there anyone that can help if I have issues with connecting?
A: Yes, we can arrange a test connection in advance of the meeting to make sure that you are all set to access the workshop online portion of the program.