The Adaptation Chapter (1.89 MB) of the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan states that
Tompkins County should be a place where the entire community is prepared for the economic, environmental, and social impacts of climate change.
It is the policy of Tompkins County to:
- Maintain floodways and limit development within floodplains to reduce damages from floods
- Improve connectivity of open space to prevent fragmentation of ecosystems and isolation of plant and wildlife populations
- Promote adaptation measures that lessen climate impacts on the local economy
- Encourage actions that protect vulnerable populations from the impacts of climate change
- Prepare for community recovery in the event of disaster
Tompkins County Resiliency and Recovery Plan
To reduce the risks associated with hazards and the changing climate, as well as to better prepare for long-term recovery from disaster events, the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability received funding under two different grant programs (FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and NYS Department of State Resiliency Planning Grant) to develop the Tompkins County Resiliency and Recovery Plan (RRP).
The RRP provides a foundation for collaborative action with each of the municipalities in Tompkins County and with a broad group of stakeholders in an effort to reach these goals. It was developed in close coordination with local and regional partners, including the County Departments of Emergency Response, Facilities, Health, Highway, and Recycling and Materials Management.
Components of the RRP
Many of the components of the RRP were identified in the 2013 Hazard Mitigation Plan as important actions to better prepare the community for future disasters. Woven together, these components position the County to more quickly and effectively rebound after a disaster, as well as attract new funds to implement steps on public water supply drought resilience, debris management post-disaster, and make our critical facilities less vulnerable to flood events.
The RRP addresses four main areas: Flooding, Drought, Debris Management and Economic Recovery. These are deemed to be critical areas of focus at this time, with full recognition that the topic of resiliency and recovery is a broad one and that it provides a foundation for ongoing work to prepare for more aspects of resiliency and recovery.
The RRP components include:
This online interface provides links to all Resiliency and Recovery Plan documents, summarizes all actions in one location, and includes an interactive map with an inventory and assessment of critical facilities within each municipality.
The foundation of the RRP was the update of the Hazard Mitigation Plan. All municipalities in Tompkins County worked together to finalize the Tompkins County Hazard Mitigation Plan: 2021 Update, which was adopted by the County Legislature on October 5, 2021 (Res. No. 2021-208) and approved by FEMA in 2021.
Water Supply Drought Resilience Technical Memorandum. This document identifies how to improve drought resiliency in the county. It identifies gaps for interconnection for the three largest water purveyors in the county, clarifies the importance of interagency agreements, identifies best practices to improve governance, makes recommendations to build drought resiliency in rural areas and to address water resiliency on a more shared regional basis.
Debris Management Resources
Debris Management Plan. This document provides a framework to enable the County and its communities to better respond to emergency debris removal situations. The plan will help the County coordinate and effectively manage a debris removal effort following a major debris-generating event such as a major windstorm or flood.
Recommended Floodplain Practices for Tompkins County Communities. This document provides guidance on best practices for community floodplain management to reduce the risk of damages due to flood events. The guidance includes recommendations to establish sound floodplain management procedures to be integrated into the daily operations of communities.
Town of Lansing Community Rating System Assessment. The Town of Lansing participated in a review of its capabilities as related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System (CRS) program requirements to provide a basis for justification of participation. This report provides a baseline assessment of the capabilities of the Town regarding its floodplain management program. It provides information on the Town’s potential to participate in the CRS, including an assessment of creditable activities under the program and an estimate of potential economic benefits of participation.
Critical Facility Resources in the Floodplain. This section includes an interactive map to support owners and operators of critical facilities in the floodplain by providing mitigation resources to guide improvements and reduce the risk of flood damages and cascading impacts such as loss of service or accessibility during and after a flood event. This map provides facility specific information as well as FEMA resources and fact sheets to assist in the implementation of activities and projects to support resilience. These Critical Facility Mitigation Fact Sheets describe nine examples of potential upgrades facility owners may consider to mitigate the effects of flooding on critical facilities. In addition to the Critical Facility Mitigation Fact Sheets, this section includes an interactive map that is incorporated into the StoryMap.
Economic Recovery Resources
Economic Recovery Planning Framework. This document provides guidance to the County and local governments on recommended pre-disaster economic recovery activities to help mitigate the economic impacts of future disasters. The Framework addresses how the County’s recovery effort should be organized, including providing guidance on the identification and development of an Economic Recovery Team and any associated recovery office, as well as instruction on how to identify recovery actions ahead of time in preparation for impending hazards. The Framework will function as a roadmap to guide the County through the necessary steps and actions to develop a fully functioning Economic Recovery Plan.
Model Ordinances. Included in the Framework is an appendix with recommended next steps for municipalities, as well as a Model Disaster Recovery Ordinance and a Model Disaster Reconstruction Ordinance that municipalities may wish to adopt.
Continuity of Operations Planning Tools. These include training videos, slide decks, and Continuity of Operations Plan templates specifically geared to help local governments and businesses. These tools are meant to provide a meaningful way to prepare municipalities and businesses for resilient recovery and to foster dialogue around the topic of recovery.
- Local Government Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Training
- Business Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Training
Resilience Messaging Playbook. The goal of this resource is to provide strategically sound messaging and outreach tactics that the County and others can use before and after a disaster event to cultivate a sustained awareness, understanding, engagement and buy-in of preparedness activities in Tompkins County.
Additional RRP Links
All municipalities in Tompkins County worked together to develop the Tompkins County Hazard Mitigation Plan: 2021 Update, which was approved by FEMA and adopted by the County Legislature and all municipalities within Tompkins County in 2021. This plan is required by state and federal agencies for communities to be eligible for pre-disaster mitigation project funding. The ultimate goal of hazard mitigation is to lessen the impact of disasters by reducing the loss of life and property.
The Tompkins County Hazard Mitigation Plan was developed to provide a roadmap to resilience by identifying hazards affecting the county and its communities. The two-volume plan includes enhanced narrative to provide a more complete context of hazard vulnerabilities.
|Volume I (22MB)||Volume II (21MB)|
|Hazard Mitigation Plan Appendices|
- Ready.gov – flooding safety and preparedness resources
- FEMA Flood Mitigation for Homeowners Fact Sheet
- NYS 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning – information and resources on hazard mitigation planning
- FEMA Map Service Center – view and print FEMA floodplain maps
- NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Hazard Mitigation Resources
- Tompkins County's Flood Information Webpage