The internet is flooded with articles about the high water and water damage recovery in Vermont. The most encouraging news I’ve seen on the matter, besides some sunshine in the forecast, comes from VTDiggercom:

The process of obtaining financial assistance from the federal government from late April and early May flooding is on-going. Vermont completed its part of the process Friday when Governor Peter Shumlin sent a formal request to President Barack Obama for a disaster declaration.

For FEMA, monetary levels of damage are the biggest indicators of need. According to Governor Schumlin’s website, FEMA found in excess of $3 million in damages statewide (this was before the flash floods in Central Vermont). The costs of the flood damage incurred in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans, and Washington counties are high enough to qualify for a disaster declaration.

This is great news for our local communities, but what does it mean for the individual homeowner dealing with mud or a wet basement? FEMA Individual Assistance is much more difficult to obtain. More from the Governor:

“We have shown significant public infrastructure damage and I’m confident we will be granted federal funds to help rebuild roads, bridges, and other public property,” Gov. Shumlin said.  “Now we need to show private property damage.  I encourage everyone who suffered flood damage to their homes to call 2-1-1 so FEMA can get an accurate picture of damages.” (

The process of obtaining an Individual Assistance declaration is just beginning,Vermont must show a significant impact from the flooding to be considered. As some homes are still under water, this will take some time.

In the meantime, document the damages using your camera, smart phone, or video camera, and start cleaning up. There are many things you can do on your own to get the ball rolling, the Department of Public Safety lists several flood recovery resources.

The first thing you should do is make some phone calls:

  • Call 2-1-1 to report all damages, losses and recovery costs. These damage reports are essential to gain FEMA assistance
  • Call your insurance company
  • Call Puro Clean 24-hour emergency services 888.379.6940

More Vermont flood resources:

Flood Recovery Guidelines
FEMA Individual Assistance – assistance to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance
Apply for Assistance
Repairing your Flooded Home – step-by-step advice to clean up, rebuild, and get help after a flood.

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