Project Introduction

The Town of Otis is looking for input and we need the benefit of your knowledge of the Town and its history with natural hazards and disasters. Please take a few minutes to answer a few questions. The Town of Otis is developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan to: identify risks, both manmade and natural; to develop strategies to eliminate or reduce the potential for loss of life, property, infrastructure, cultural, environmental & natural resources of the Town from disasters; and to develop sustainable cost-effective actions to mitigate those risks and the impacts of natural or manmade hazards. Your responses will help guide the Town through the planning process.
 
Natural hazards pose a risk to people and property, examples of which are flooding, severe rain or snow storms, tornados, drought and severe temperatures.

Hazard mitigation is an action taken to reduce the impact of natural disasters - it is the work done up front before the disaster hits to lessen the impacts when that disaster strikes in the future. Some possible hazard mitigation actions include:
  • Replacing an undersized culvert or bridge with a larger one to reduce the risk of flooding or road washout (like the examples here from Becket).
  • Upgrading road storm drain systems to handle
    higher volumes of water.
  • Moving or elevating critical municipal infrastructure out of flood-prone areas.
  • Ensuring that emergency response and operations can function during a disaster event.
  • Having communications systems and plans in place to shelter people during disasters or power outages.
A Hazard Mitigation Plan is the final product of this “pre-disaster” planning effort that identifies actions which can eliminate or reduce the risk to life and property in the event that a natural disaster occurs. Having a mitigation plan in place serves as a guide for future hazard mitigation actions and makes the Town more competitive for federal and state grants.

A Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Plan takes a focused look at natural hazards and weather patterns with climate change in mind. This plan gathers data on the observed weather pattern changes that the region is already experiencing and how those changes might become more severe in the future. Otis can then begin to develop actions to make the community more resilient to those changes. This program involves a workshop and the report generated from it will help Otis become more competitive for state mitigation and resilience grant programs.

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Road washout at Walker Brook in Becket

Road washout at Walker Brook in Becket

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New larger culverts at Walker Brook in Becket

New larger culverts at Walker Brook in Becket

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* 1. How do you spend your time in Otis?

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* 2. In which area do you live in Otis?

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* 3. Are there roads or areas in Otis that you believe are most vulnerable to natural hazards? Examples might be flooding, road washouts, where power lines come down, or other hazards. Please be as specific as possible so we can identify the areas you are pointing out.

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* 4. Have you witnessed severe natural hazards or disasters in Otis?

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* 5. If you have witnessed natural hazards or disasters in town, when and where did the events occur? Please be as specific as possible to help town officials understand when and where these events occurred.

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* 6. What natural hazards concern you the most when you are in Otis? Choose and rank the top three hazards, with 1 being of greatest concern.

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* 7. What are your greatest concerns about the hazards that you ranked in the previous question? Choose and rank the top three hazards, with 1 being of greatest concern.

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* 8. Are there areas of Otis that you believe are most at risk from any of the above hazards? If so, please provide information in the box below.

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Town of Otis Critical Facilities Map

Town of Otis Critical Facilities Map

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* 9. On behalf of the Otis Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Planning Committee Meeting, we thank you for your input. We appreciate your taking time out of your schedule to learn about natural hazard mitigation and providing us with valuable on-the-ground information. If you would like to provide more information about the issues you’ve raised in this survey, please provide your email or phone number in the space below and we will contact you to discuss the issues in more detail.

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