Natural Hazards and Adaptation

Natural and human made hazards occur in every municipality.  In New Hampshire the more common natural hazards municipalities address in their hazard mitigation planning include:

  • Flooding
  • Dam Failures
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes and Downbursts
  • Thunderstorm/Hail/Lightning
  • Severe Winter Weather
  • Earthquakes
  • Landslides
  • Drought
  • Extreme Heat
  • Erosion and Fluvial Erosion
  • Wildfire
  • Natural Contaminants (such as radon)
  • Hazardous Materials Spills

When municipalities identify recurring hazards, they can mitigate or eliminate future hazard incidences.  For example, if a section of road consistently floods every spring, replacing a culvert with a larger one may resolve the problem in the future and save the municipality the expense and aggravation of a road wash-out.  Other examples might be to install lightning protection devices in buildings that have a history of being hit by lightning.  This reduces the risk of fire and the cost of damaged equipment such as computers.  Participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is considered a mitigation strategy as it allows residents to obtain affordable flood insurance.