Natural Disasters Recovery Resource Center
Severe weather and other natural disasters can happen at a moment’s notice, and events evolve rapidly in any crisis. It is best to prepare an action plan for yourself, your family, and your business to use in the event of a natural disaster. I also have prepared this webpage to share important information and key contacts to help those struggling after a disaster.
Information for All Vermonters
The Vermont Flood Recovery Resource Guide, a publication of the Office of Senator Patrick Leahy, contains detailed information and contact phone numbers and links for essential agencies and organizations in Vermont.
For information on readiness planning tips from FEMA please click here.
For information on how to apply for FEMA assistance after a disaster please click here.
In a time of emergency or recovery, it is imperative that you stay informed. Here are some resources to help you stay on top of changing conditions and newly-released information:
It is important to remain mindful of food and water safety after a flood. Most importantly do not eat anything that may have touched flood waters. If you have lost power, keep refrigerators and freezers closed. Dispose of any perishable item that may have been above 40 degrees for longer than two hours. Please click here for detailed food safety information from the Vermont Department of Health. For additional information on water safety and ensuring the sanitation of your water supply, please click here.
Further, Vermont 2-1-1 is a confidential statewide referral service for human services programs. To reach 2-1-1, just dial 211 from any Vermont phone number. Vermont 2-1-1 also maintains an online database of human service organizations and agencies and the services that they provide. It can be accessed here.
Additionally, it is critical that you be aware of the possibility of financial scams designed to prey on people recovering from a natural disaster. For information from the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid becoming a victim of these scams, please click here.
Information for Homeowners
If you're just coming home:
When re-entering your home after evacuation, proceed with extreme caution and avoid hazards and areas of damage throughout your home.
Dry basements slowly:
Pumping water from your home too swiftly can cause further structural damage to both walls and floors due to the saturated nature of the surrounding ground. FEMA recommends pumping out about one-third of the water each day following a flood.
Document your clean-up:
Prior to beginning your clean-up efforts, document your home and property with photos and videos. Be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after a flood and retain all receipts and records related to the repair of your home.
Household hazardous waste disposal:
Residents that have been impacted by flooding caused by hurricane Irene need to separate their household hazardous waste (HHW). Improper disposal of HHW can pose a threat to human health and/or the environment. Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be HHW. Some HHW that cannot be disposed of in normal rubbish containers:
- Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients.
- Car batteries & Rechargeable Batteries
- Hazardous Waste
- Mercury products – fluorescent bulbs, thermostats, thermometers
- Oil, Brake Cleaner, other toxic car products
- Oil Based Pain, Stain, Varnish, Paint Thinner/Stripper
- Propane cylinders, other gas cylinders
Local transfer stations near you are working in coordination with EPA to collect HHW. Click here to view a chart of locations and their hours of operation. Also, electronic waste should be brought to an approved facility, please visit Vermont’s E-Cycle locations on the Agency for Natural Resources website for details.
Floodsmart.gov provides numerous resources for Vermonters impacted by severe flooding. Please click here for information on how to file a flood insurance claim. For additional tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on how to file a claim for damage due to a flood, please click here.
Information for Businesses
Whether you rent or own your own home, own your own business, or own a small agricultural cooperative located in a declared disaster area, and are the victim of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Please click here for information on SBA Disaster Loans.
Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate or personal property owned by the victim. Renters are eligible for their personal property losses, including automobiles.
Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, and private universities also are eligible.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. EIDL assistance is available only to entities and their owners who cannot provide for their own recovery from non-government sources, as determined by the SBA.
Information for Farmers
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture urges farmers to report disaster losses, as well as those loses expected in the future, to the state as soon as possible in order to assess the availability of assistance from the federal government. Farmers should stay in touch with the following offices:
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – (802) 951-6796
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets – (802) 828-2430
Information for Vermont Veterans
If you are a Veteran (or Veteran’s caregiver or family member) currently enrolled at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction or any of its community based outpatient clinics and you need assistance following a natural disaster, please contact the White River Junction VA Telephone Triage Unit at 1-866-687-8383 Ext. 6364.
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