This chapter describes natural hazards that have occurred in the region in the past and discusses the potential risks and extent to which natural hazards could impact the region in the future. Climate change can increase the severity of existing and future hazards such as coastal storms, flooding, strong winds, extreme precipitation, extreme temperatures and drought, and alter the frequency and occurrence of weather related events. The potential impacts of climate change are covered in greater detail in the Existing Conditions section of the Climate Change Chapter.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) has a goal for all communities within the State of New Hampshire to establish local hazard mitigation plans as a means to reduce and mitigate future losses from natural hazard events. Local hazard mitigation plans provide a framework to recognize and address the impacts of natural hazards and climate change. Local officials identify natural hazards most likely to impact their community, document existing programs and policies in place to reduce and prevent these hazards, and develop a mitigation action plan. These plans describe actions the community will undertake to reduce loss and damage of public and private assets. The plans are reviewed by HSEM and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and adopted by the local governing body. Hazard mitigation plans offer short and long-term strategies and practices aimed at creating sustainable, disaster-resilient communities.