Caledonia and Orange counties now eligible for FEMA individual assistance
State and federal officials announced Friday that Caledonia and Orange counties are now part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster declaration for Vermont's recent flooding.
Residents in those counties are eligible for FEMA individual assistance. They join Chittenden, Lamoille, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor counties.
Gov. Phil Scott and other officials urged people to continue reporting flood damage to their homes, businesses and property to 2-1-1.
The governor says this data is what FEMA uses to determine whether a county has seen sufficient damage to be included in a disaster designation.
State officials urged people in Orleans County and others not currently part of the disaster declaration to continue to file damage reports using 2-1-1, for everything from flooded cars to damaged driveways to flooded basements and garages.
The governor said that reporting even minor damage to your own property may help unlock key funding to support a neighbor or other community member in recouping major losses to their property and belongings.
Making the call does NOT commit an individual to anything. It just contributes to the data available for FEMA and other state and federal agencies to understand the level of need in your community.
New relief coming:
- The USDA has issued a natural disaster declaration for all 14 Vermont counties for crop damages from the historic May freeze. The agency is still reviewing Vermont’s application for a declaration due to flooding damages.
- To date the state has reported: 9,424 acres of lost crops, impacting about 200 farmers and producers. Farmers should continue to report damages to the USDA and 2-1-1. This could help unlock further assistance for farms. More info about how to report farm damage here.
- Next week the state is launching a $20 million grant program for businesses physically impacted by flooding. Called the Business Restart Gap Assistance Program, the goal is to help businesses reopen and pay employees until more resources are available. More details on this coming next week.
Key takeaways for individuals and business owners:
- Individuals in Chittenden, Lamoille, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor counties have until Sept. 12 to file for assistance from FEMA. Read our guide for how to do this here.
- Individuals in Caledonia and Orange counties have 60 days from July 21 – until Sept. 19 – to apply for individual assistance from FEMA.
- Businesses in counties with disaster declarations are eligible now to apply for Small Business Administration loans. State officials acknowledged this is not enough, and said securing more funding will be up to Vermont’s congressional delegation.
- Officials are urging Vermonters who were flooded to move their unsalvageable debris into the right-of-way for public collection as soon as possible. If you weren’t impacted, they recommend helping your neighbor do this work. Collection windows are limited and getting debris out of the streets will help towns move forward with clean-up and recovery.
- The Vermont Strong license plates are coming back, with a new design. More information on this in the coming days.
Flooding recovery assistance and other key resources
- To apply for federal financial assistance, visit disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
- Is your community under a boil-water notice? Find a statewide list here.
- For state road closure information, visit newengland511.org or @511VT on Twitter. To check the status of your town's local roads, consult your town website or social media.
- School activities and child care program closures are collected here.
- Find the latest forecasts and water levels for specific rivers from the National Weather Service.
- Are you returning to flooded property? Get tips on what to expect and how to stay safe while cleaning your home or car and how to deal with trash and debris.
- Here are tips for avoiding scams that can crop up after a disaster.
- Flood safety tips have been translated into 16 languages here.
- The Vermont Professionals of Color Network is connecting BIPOC Vermonters with recovery assistance.
- Business owners can find tips and resources from Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
- To find more resources, visit vermont.gov/flood, vermont211.org or call Vermont 2-1-1.
- You can also report flood damage to 2-1-1 to help the state gather data, according to Vermont Emergency Management. (If you are a homeowner, you should also contact your insurance company.)
- The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has provided a resource page for farmers.
- Find the latest guidance about how to help with recovery.