Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning

Multi-Hazards Mitigation Planning


Planning for the worst case scenario.

You wouldn’t think natural disasters could happen in the Merrimack Valley. But the Merrimack Valley is susceptible to a wide array of natural hazards—chronic floods, severe thunderstorms, winter snow and ice storms, wildfires, hurricanes, and even tornadoes and earthquakes. When these hazards strike, their physical damage and economic and social costs can be staggering.

In an effort to mitigate the impact of natural hazards, MVPC partners with the region’s public safety personnel, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prepare the Merrimack Valley Region Natural Hazards Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. This plan follows the guidelines of the federal Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA) of 2000, and prescribes a series of actions which the region and its member communities can take to help break the costly cycle of recurring property and infrastructure losses due to natural hazards.

The purpose of this multi-jurisdictional plan is to identify and characterize natural hazards that are common to the communities of the Merrimack Valley; determine specific locations, populations, and facilities that are vulnerable to these hazards; and formulate mitigation strategies to reduce the risks and impacts associated with these hazards. By developing and implementing a hazard mitigation plan before disaster strikes, our communities will be better able to prevent or minimize loss of life and property. Anticipated plan benefits include:

  • Communities and a region that are safer places to live, work, and play
  • Eligibility for federal and state grant funding in both the pre-disaster and post-disaster environments
  • Speedier physical and economic recovery and redevelopment following disaster events
  • Compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements for natural hazard mitigation plans.

As required by federal regulation, the Merrimack Valley Region Natural Hazards Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan is reviewed and updated by MVPC and participating communities every five years to ensure the plan remains current and relevant.

 – News Update –

April 18, 2016 – FEMA issued that agency’s notice of approval pending local adoption of the Merrimack Valley Region Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.   Links below are to the final plan documents.

 MV Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update April 2016

MV Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Appendices

Appendix F – Map Series
Andover     Boxford     Georgetown     Groveland     Haverhill     Lawrence     Merrimac
Methuen     Newbury     Newburyport     N. Andover     Rowley     Salisbury     W. Newbury




The Merrimack Valley is a picturesque home to marshes, beaches, forests, fields and wildlife. We work with many community organizations and concerned citizens to protect these natural resources and bring development and preservation balance to the region.

  • Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
    160 Main Street
    Haverhill, MA 01830
    p: 978.374.0519
    f: 978.372.4890
    e: info@mvpc.org

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