Info & Resources For Towns
Title 20—Public Safety and Emergency Management
Title 20 sets out the responsibilities and authorizations of Vermont towns regarding emergency plans. Chapter 1, §§1–46 and Chapter 7, §§185, 186 are particularly pertinent. They cover, among other things, establishment of the State's Public Safety Districts, establishment of town emergency management groups, continuity of government (i.e.: designated backup personnel for elected officials), duties of the emergency manager, governor’s powers in a declared emergency, assistance, funding, and more.
ACEPC and Your Town
The Addison County Emergency Planning Committee stands ready to assist your town in developing its emergency plan in line with State and Federal guides, we also can provide various trainings, workshops, NIMS courses, and other training assistance. Note that federal law requires elected officials to have a certain level of NIMS training and competence in order for a town to be eligible for FEMA and other government funds should the need arise.
The resources section of this page has links to plan templates, rules/regs sites &/or PDFs, and much other information. This includes links to aid resources which will be helpful to have listed in your town plan.
The head of the local elected governing group is, by law, the Emergency Manager unless a manager/director is designated. The Manager functions primarily as a coordinator to bring together those who should be part of the planning process, and acts in a supervisory capacity at the Emergency Operations Center, when it is activated. The EM manager is not intended to “do it all”—the committee should include representatives of fire, rescue, school, law enforcement, governing board, highway department, and any other major role player. The governing body needs to monitor the progress of the plan to ensure it is done.
In the post-911 world, compliance is becoming more stringent and disaster assistance hinges, more and more, on development of workable emergency plans and compliance with NIMS training requirements and protocols. All players need to have input in the emergency plan. First in the form of the Rapid Response Plan (RRP) , then in development of the RRP’s more extensively detailed sister, the actual Emergency Operation Plan (EOP). FEMA has plan templates, but ACEPC can help you and your EM Manager with a scaled down version more suited to Vermont, where the majority of the work will be done by volunteers rather than paid staff as in other states.
See below for links to assist in development of a plan for your school. The VT Dept. of Education has mandated that every school develop a plan of action in event of an emergency. Towns should encourage schools, first responders (law enforcement, fire, rescue), and the town emergency management committee to work closely together. All should have copies of the school crisis plan, with clearly defined protocols that all understand.
Every town has an at-risk population—in time of emergency, it is critical that these people be especially noted as they may be unable to seek assistance on their own. Seniors, the very ill or disabled who rely on others for mobility and care, those with developmental disabilities, and those who are non-English speaking are among those comprising the special needs group. Your town's plan should also note any gathering spots for those who may need special assistance: senior centers, day care facilities, schools, senior housing, health-care facilities, etc. See the Public Welfare section of the Resources page for planning info.
For the protection of its residents, towns and their first responders need to know where the “hazard” areas are. This allows planning to mitigate the dangers they present and allows first responders to plan for emergency calls to those areas. All towns have risky spots, those with hazardous materials may also need reporting to VEM and the local LEPC. Some are readily apparent: fuel storage facilities (petroleum products), telephone company/electric company sub-stations (sulfuric acid), farms/ag centers (pesticides, fertilizers). Others may not be so apparent: highway department sand piles, water treatment plants. Your town’s Emergency Operation Plan (EOP), should include an assessment of any and all hazards in your town and list them in detail. At a minimum, such spots should be noted on the Rapid Response Plan which serves as an outline of your EOP, pending its more extensive detailing. More info is on the Haz-Mat page, and on the Resources page as well, under the Business and First Responder headings
- The Emergency Manager's Guide (Web)
- VT State Emergency Operations Plan (Web)
- Basic Emergency Operations Plan template Word template for town Rapid Response Plan, version 6-1, Sept. '06; 10 pgs. † (Word doc)
- 15th N.G. Civil Support Team Activation Protocols (Word doc)
- ARES Ham Radio operators, civil operation
- RACES Ham Radio; State/Federal operations
- Community Planning for Animals In A Disaster† (PDF)
General Emergency Planning
- DHS on School Preparedness (Web)
- VT School Crisis Guide (Web)
- Volunteer Protection ActText of Public Law 105-19; the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 as signed into law by President Clinton on June 18, 1997† (Word doc)
- CERT (Web)
- CERT Guidebook Short overview of what CERT volunteers do, training, activation, and responsibilities; 6pgs.† (PDF)
- FEMA NIMS/ICS Independent Study (Web)
- VT DPS Training Schedule (Web)
- VT Emergency Alert System (Web)
- Title 20—Public Safety/Emergency Management (Web)
- EPA: Chemicals in the Community From the EPA’s website: "Chemicals in Your Community - A Guide to the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act".† (Web)
- Haz-Mat Reporting Decision Flow Chart Prepared by VEM, a simple flow chart to aid in hazardous materials reporting decisions. 1pg† (PDF)
- VT Communications Committee Part of DPS, responsible for implementing statewide interoperable voice/radio communications among responding agencies† “VCOMM” (Web)
USDA Rural Information Center
Homeland Security Resources for Local Officials (Web)
Title 20 (Web)
Off-site web pages open in new windows. Links are repeated under the Town section of the Resources page. Additional resources may be found under the other headings there, as well
On this page:
• Emergency Radio Operators (Web)
Emergency Plans & Planners
• Guide to VT Town Clerks (PDF)