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Vermont Emergency Management January 2024 Newsletter

VEM News

 January, 2024
Volume 18 Issue 1

**Best viewed on a computer browser or horizontally if you are on a smartphone**

FEMA Conducting Damage Assessment Following December Floods

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working with state and local road crews on a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) to determine if Vermont communities qualify for a federal major disaster declaration following floods of December 18 &19. Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) Director Eric Forand submitted a request for the PDA shortly after the storm. 

The request asks for assessments in Addison, Essex, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, and Windsor counties to determine if the state qualifies for a Public Assistance (PA) Disaster Declaration for the storm. A Public Assistance declaration would provide 75 percent reimbursement to communities for local storm damage repairs. Additional counties could be added to the request as data collection continues.

If your municipality had public infrastructure damage please report it to your local Vermont Agency of Transportation District.

To qualify for a major disaster declaration, Vermont must show at least $1.183 million in response and public infrastructure recovery costs. Individual counties must also show public infrastructure damages and recovery costs of $4.60 per capita, which includes road repairs, debris removal, contractor expenses, and municipal employee overtime. 

Spring Flood Seminars Available January 24

A bridge in a wooded area destroyed by a flood, the dirt road leading to it is also washed out.

On January 24th, a series of recorded Spring Flood Seminars will be posted on the Vermont Emergency Management website.  These videos will inform local officials about how to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impacts of the upcoming spring flood season.  Videos will include:

  • National Weather Service: The National Weather Service will provide a spring flood outlook and inform decision-makers about flooding causes and potential mitigation efforts.
  • Agency of Transportation District Maintenance and Fleet Division: District Project Managers and their technical staff are a technical resource for local town officials. They administer State and Federal town grants helping municipalities maintain their infrastructure. They assess town damages in disaster events to verify the event qualifies for federal assistance. Towns rely on their experience, VTrans resource connections, and overall technical advice.
  • Agency of Natural Resources Rivers Program
  • Division of Fire Safety – including Urban Search & Rescue and State HAZMAT Team: The Vermont State Division of Fire Safety provides emergency inspection for the safety of occupants and buildings. Vermont USAR provides Technical level water rescue capability and long-duration heavy technical rescue. The Vermont state HAZMAT team provides technician-level hazmat response to all towns in the state of Vermont.
  • Vermont National Guard/Vermont Military Department:  The Vermont National Guard (VTNG) conducts its domestic mission in support of civil authorities in order to save lives, prevent human suffering, mitigate property damage, and protect critical infrastructure upon request of state or federal authorities. Our support typically occurs during large-scale incidents but also includes several unique capabilities that support your communities day-to-day or during smaller-scale incidents.
  • Regional Planning Commissions: Regional Planning Commission staff provide assistance to municipalities in updating their Local Emergency Management Plans, coordinating emergency management trainings and exercises, and providing technical assistance on grant programs and the Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund.
  • Ceres Environmental Operations / Tetra Tech: Ceres Environmental Services holds a statewide, Department of Buildings and General Services, Office of Purchasing and Contracting, Disaster Debris Contract for response to debris generated from disasters within the State of Vermont. 
  • Vermont Emergency Management: Vermont Emergency Management will discuss preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation – including the resources available to help communities in all of these phases.

Following the virtual Spring Flood Seminar videos release, we will hold 3 virtual regional question & answer sessions.  Please save the date/time on your calendar for the event in your region.   

  • February 6th, 12-1pm: Spring Flood Q&A – Northwest.  Franklin, Grand Isle, Chittenden, and Addison counties.
  • February 7th, 12-1pm: Spring Flood Q&A – South.  Bennington, Windham, Windsor, Orange, and Rutland counties.
  • February 8th, 12-1pm: Spring Flood Q&A – Northeast.  Washington, Lamoille, Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties.

During these sessions, the National Weather Service will provide an update tailored to the region, and all participants will have the opportunity to ask questions from the partner agency representatives who serve that region. Please be sure to view the recorded presentations released on January 24th before attending these events, and come prepared with questions.   

Registration is not required for any of these events.  We will post the links for these events on our website in January and send the links out to our Training email list – on the day/time of your regional session, you’ll click the link and join the event.

If you have any questions, please reach out to

Funding Announcement: Project Scoping Under Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Funding is available for municipalities following the July flooding event under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to scope potential future projects to reduce risk. Projects scoped using HMGP funding are required to submit an application to implement a project under the same funding round, with an anticipated deadline of late 2024.

Scoping can be for a specific project or problem, like a dam removal or upsizing a bridge, or it can be utilized to assess a broader area within a community to develop potential alternatives to reduce future flood risk (such as floodplain restoration, upsizing infrastructure, etc.). Applications can also include engineering for designs of residential elevation projects or commercial and municipal floodproofing projects.

Scoping applications generally include hiring an engineer to complete an assessment of the river and development of potential alternatives, selecting a preferred alternative, and developing designs, budget, and scope for the preferred alternative. Additionally, applications can include the development of a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), which is required to apply for FEMA implementation funding.

Communities are responsible for a required 25% non-federal match. Local ARPA funding can be used as the match in most cases. If you are interested in applying, please contact Applications for project scoping will be accepted until January 31, 2024.

Vermont Alert

Vermont Alert

Vermont Alert is a notification tool available at no charge to the public, response organizations, and municipalities. VTAlert allows users to select which specific alerts they receive and for which specific areas, like home and work.

VTAlert can be set up to send weather, traffic, water, or other emergency or warning information to users and can be used by municipalities to send alerts. Users also decide whether alerts should be sent via the Everbridge app, text, email, phone, or any combination of all.

To register for VTAlert or for more information, visit Communities and response organizations that wish to promote the service can get blocks of advertising rack cards from Vermont Emergency Management by contacting


Most trainings require a Learning Management System(LMS) account.  If you don’t have one, please register for a free account.

For a complete listing of trainings, go to the Events Calendar in the LMS

January 2024

L0146 Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) course provides a comprehensive overview of exercise design and practical skill development. Using the same terminology and processes, this course will provide activities that will allow participants to interact with many of the templates and other materials that are provided by the National Exercise Division to ensure exercises are conducted in a consistent manner. Anyone who will be a member of an exercise design team or fulfill a role in one of the following areas of the exercise design process: design, development, conduct, evaluation, or improvement process for exercise. The primary audience for the course is training officers, exercise managers, persons who will utilize the exercise and evaluation system, and persons interested in becoming an HSEEP Evaluator for Vermont Emergency Management.
LOCATION: McFarland State Office Building, Barre, VT
DATE/TIME: January 23-24, 2024, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

Public Information Officer Basics for Locals
This course has been specifically designed by Vermont Emergency Management for local responders and government officials in Vermont. The three-hour course covers the fundamentals of press relations, effective use of social media, press release preparation, and interview dos and don'ts.
LOCATION: Town of Barre Municipal Building, Barre, VT
DATE/TIME: January 26, 2023, 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

February 2024

Vermont Local Emergency Management Director Course
This course will familiarize Local Emergency Management Directors (EMD) and Coordinators (EMC) with major roles, responsibilities, and “how to do it” guidance across all four phases of Emergency Management.
DATE/TIME: February 14-15, 2024, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

State Emergency Operation Center Orientation
The purpose of this training is to provide an overview of the State Emergency Operations Center. This course is ONLY available to those who staff the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center.
LOCATION: DPS Headquarters, Waterbury, VT
DATE/TIME: February 20, 2024, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
PREREQUISITES: ICS-100 and WebEOC Sate User Training
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

March 2024

MGT 417: Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents for Key Decision Makers - In-Person
Manchester Community Library
March 14, 2024, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. & March 15, 2024, 8:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
Registration: Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC)

April 2024

G0191- ICS/EOC Interface
This course provides an opportunity for participants to begin developing an effective interface between the Incident Command System (ICS) and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for their community by applying Incident Command System (ICS) principles. This course reviews ICS and EOC responsibilities and functions and depends heavily on exercises and group discussions to identify interface issues and develop solutions. As part of the course, these concepts are then applied to exercise situations.
LOCATION: Bristol Fire Department, Bristol, VT
DATE/TIME: April 10, 2024, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
PREREQUISITES: IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

ICS 300- Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents 
This course focuses on the management of expanding incidents. It is intended for those who will be serving in the following positions: command staff, section chiefs, strike team leaders, unit leaders, division and group supervisors, branch directors, multi-agency coordination system staff, and Emergency Operations Center staff. This course is for middle management, strike team leaders, task force leaders, unit leaders, division and group supervisors, branch directors, and Emergency Operations Center staff.
LOCATION: Milton Fire Department- Milton, VT
DATE/TIME: April 23-25, 2024, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

June 2024

State Emergency Operation Center Orientation
The purpose of this training is to provide an overview of the State Emergency Operations Center. This course is ONLY available to those who staff the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center.
LOCATION: DPS Headquarters, Waterbury, VT
DATE/TIME: June 4, 2024, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
PREREQUISITES: ICS-100 and WebEOC Sate User Training
REGISTRATION: State Learning Management System

August 2024

ICS 400- Advanced ICS for Command and General Staff – In-Person
Norwich, VT
August 6-7, 2023, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day
Prerequisite: ICS-300
Registration: State Learning Management System

Federal Partners
Louisiana State University National Center for Biomedical Research and Training/ Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education

Regional Partners
New Hampshire: Bi-Monthly Training Newsletter