Thursday, August 31, Senator Patrick Leahy released the following statement to all Vermonters regarding the damage left by Hurricane Irene:
As we learn more and see more and reconnect with each other, Vermonters are still coming to terms with the swift and fierce destruction that Irene left in her wake. I’m a lifelong Vermonter and I’ve never seen anything quite like this before in our state.For so many Vermonters this already was anything but an easy year, with earlier flooding that already set historic records.
I can’t tell you how stirring it has been to see neighbors helping not only neighbors but also complete strangers. On our visits to some of the hardest-hit towns, Governor Shumlin and I met volunteer after volunteer, pitching in and working hard on the cleanup and to put their businesses and homes back together.
Relief efforts are well underway and emergency repairs have begun. The work of recovery will be a longer process. We are drawing from our state’s resources and Vermonters’ reserves of courage and stamina, but we will also need help that is beyond the means of a small state like ours. I will continue to work side by side with Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, as we work step by step with President Obama, Governor Shumlin, federal disaster officials and others, to ensure that every federal resource is available to Vermont as we begin the recovery process. We have forged a strong partnership for Vermont that is working well, and that bodes well for the future.
Questions, answers, resources and events evolve rapidly in a crisis like this. The internet is a marvelous communications tool, and I have prepared this web page to pass along important information and key contacts to help flooded property owners, businesses and renters.
United States Senator for Vermont
Information for All Vermonters
Floodsmart.gov provides numerous resources for Vermonters impacted by flooding or damage from Hurricane Irene. Please click here for information on how to file a flood insurance claim. For additional tips from the Federal Emergency Managment Agency on how to file a claim for damage due to a flood, 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:
Taking care of your personal health after a disaster is imperative. For tips from FEMA on ways to care for yourself and your loved ones as you work to recover, please click here. For additional information on health and hygiene from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please click here.
It is important to remain mindful of food and water safety after a flood; do not eat anything that may have touched flood waters. If you’ve 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.
Additionally, it is critical that you be aware of the possibility of financial scams designed to prey on people recovering from a natural diaster. 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. Please click here for detailed tips on how best to avoid hazards and damage in your home after a flood, as provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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.
Information for Businesses
Please click here for information on Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
For information on how to apply for assistance from FEMA, please click here.