IRENE RECOVERY INFORMATION FOR CAVENDISH VT: 11/7/11
The following information is being provided to help Cavendish residents, businesses and property owners in the recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. As information is changed, or additions made, this will be posted at www.cavendishvt.blogspot.com Check the upper right hand link section. As services return to normal, they will be deleted from the list. If you have information to add or correct to this handout, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 226-7807.
You must file for FEMA and SBA low interest loans by Nov. 15. To determine your eligibility, property owners, businesses, and non-profits should contact FEMA as soon as possible at: 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. To file your application, you can also register online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov Go to http://www.fema.gov/assistance/process/assistance.shtm to learn about what FEMA covers.
FEMA’s primary objective is to get people into their homes. While there maybe immediate assistance for some items, the primary approach is through SBA (small business loans). While many may bulk at a loan, it’s important to understand what they can provide for your situation. It is possible to combine a mortgage, with funds for property damage, via SBA, and because of the lower interest rate, end up with a lower monthly payment. If your household income is too low for a SBA loan, you are then referred back to FEMA, which can provide a grant up to $30,000.
BUSINESS: Register with FEMA now. Once registered, you may be eligible for Emergency Flood Assistance Program for Businesses-It will provide $10 million of very low interest, no first year payment, and loans to businesses, which suffered losses due to flooding. FMI: VEDA FEMA funds (see federal aid below) are also available. US Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans for Irene, Occurring August 29, 2011 and continuing require filing dates for economic injury by June 1, 2012. For more on SBA loans call 800-659-2955, visit the SBA website.
The VT Irene Relief Fund has been established to provide grants to small businesses that have sustained losses and can’t afford to add debt by taking out low interest loans. FMI: Irene Relief Fund or call 802-552-3449
DONATIONS: You can help in the following ways:
• If a friend on neighbor has been directly affected, simply things like a meal, gift certificates (gas, Home Depot, area restaurant, home goods store etc.) offers of baby sitting, carpentry skills, organizing a work party can be very helpful.
• Irene Relief funds have been started and fundraisers are being held. Make sure you know how the funds are to be used and it is a reputable organization such as VT Red Cross or Black River Good Neighbors. Locally, the Cavendish Baptist Church, Calvary Church and Gethsemane have funds available to help individuals who are in need. You can donate to one of these churches or the Cavendish and Proctorsville Fire Departments.
EFFICIENCY VERMONT: Can provide advice on replacing damaged insulation and on how to address health and safety issues. In addition, Efficiency Vermont has financial assistance available for air sealing, replacing insulation, heating and hot water systems as well as rebates on ENERGY STAR® clothes washers and refrigerators ($50 rebate which can be combined with a $50 instant in-store rebate funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-for a total rebate of $100) and dehumidifiers ($25 rebate). The free Home and Small Business Flood Repair Assessments with Air Sealing, will provide, for a limited time testing to determine if flooded areas have dried sufficiently and air sealing in affected areas to reduce energy loss. Affected drywall and insulation must be removed at least six inches above the water line and mold issues have been dealt with. FMI: Efficiency Vermont or call 1-888-921-5990 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.
EMPLOYMENT: The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals who have become unemployed because of major disasters. Benefits begin with the date the individual was unemployed due to the disaster incident and can extend up to 26 weeks after the Presidential declaration date. These benefits are made available to individuals not covered by other unemployment compensation programs, such as self-employed, farmers, migrant and seasonal workers, and those who have insufficient quarters to qualify for other unemployment compensation. You must register with the State’s employment service’s office. FMI: 1-877-214-3330.or http://labor.vermont.gov/
FARMS: To report damages to property including but not limited to barns, milking parlors, crops, fields, equipment, etc., call:
• USDA Farm Service Agency 802-295-7942
• Natural Resources Conservation Services office 802-775-8034 X 14
• Vermont Farm Bureau 802-434-5646 or NOFA Vermont (802-434-4122 These organizations will send a summary of the information to the Agency of Agriculture, which will forward it to VEM.
Farmers experiencing loss of crops due to flooding should contact their crop insurance agent as well as the USDA Farm Service Agency 802-658-2803
FLOORING: Those who have lost their house or need to replace floors that have been damaged by the flood are eligible for hardwood or pine flooring at very low to no cost from Vermont Hardwoods. You will need to provide evidence of loss, in the form of photos and/or documents identifying the property as yours and showing the damage or loss, or a copy of documentation from FEMA or an insurance assessor showing the type and amount of loss. FMI: 888-442-7396 http://vermonthardwoods.com/hurricane_irene_relief.asp
FOOD AND OTHER ASSISTANCE: Black River Good Neighbor 228-3663 in Ludlow serves Cavendish residents -food shelf, financial assistance (heating, rent and utilities), and miscellaneous assistance. If you need help in obtaining services, contact Abe Gross 226-7131.
LEGAL AID: The Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Legal Aid, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont and the Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project have pro bono lawyers standing by to help victims of Tropical Storm Irene. Call 1-800-889-2047. Through this intake number, a client may be connected with a Legal Aid attorney; receive over the phone legal advice from a Law Line attorney; or be assigned an attorney through the Volunteer Lawyer Project. Visit Vermont Legal Aid’s webpage with answers to frequently asked questions for flooding victims.
MORTGAGE/RENT ASSISTANCE: The Realtors Relief Foundation, a joint venture between the National Association of Realtors and the Vermont Association of Realtors, makes assistance available to qualified applicants towards one of the following options: 1) Monthly mortgage expense for the primary residence that was damaged by Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee or; 2) Rental cost of temporary shelter due to displacement from the primary residence resulting from the storms. Relief assistance is limited to $1,500 per applicant. Recipient must be a full time resident and U.S. citizen or legally admitted for residence in the United States. Applications will be reviewed without knowledge of the identity of the applicant. In order to provide for a reasonable and equitable distribution of funds, assistance will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. All grants are contingent upon the availability of funds. Grants will be jointly payable to applicant and mortgage lender/landlord. To learn more about the program go to one of the following-VT Association of Realtors 877-229-0523 or email@example.com or http://www.vtrealtor.com/rrf/
PHONE & INTERNET: VTel is offering up to three months of free basic telephone and Internet service to any current customer whose home or business was affected by the flood. The company is also suspending any telephone disconnections for up to three months. VTel is also offering discounted Internet service to any family in the company’s service area with a full-time student who receives free lunches from the National School Lunch Program. FMI: 1-800-279-4049.
REPLACEMENT OF FUEL TANKS, HOT WATER HEATERS: If you qualify for Weatherization, this program would be able to replace water heaters, furnaces etc. The Emergency Replacement and Repair Program replaces boilers and furnaces. These are income eligible programs and you will need to go through the Springfield SEVCA office 885-6153. Call first as walk-ins are no longer accepted. Be advised that it’s “FEMA first.” If you receive FEMA funds, you will need to use them to replace furnaces/boilers etc. before obtaining funds available through SEVCA. A new program, not part of Weatherization, is being offered by Efficiency Vermont (see above) tests for moisture, provide sealing and identify candidates for Weatherization.
SECOND HOME OWNERS: FEMA is not covering second homeowner losses unless the home is used for a rental, in which case you will file under SBA. As for property loss, there is a deduction that can be taken on schedule A of the 1040 tax return. You have to fill out Form 4684 to see how much qualifies.
Cavendish Town Office 226-7292 Office open Monday through Friday 9-noon and 1-4:30 pm. Wednesday until 6 pm. Office closed for major holidays. Town Manager’s Office 226-7291. Town Office Fax 226-7290
Cavendish Transfer Station 226-7743
Cavendish Community Library 226-7503
For fire, rescue and emergency 911
Questions Vermonters are Asking about Hurricane Irene Relief Efforts: Compiled by Senator Sanders has very practical and easy to read information.
Vermont Emergency Management: Tropical Storm Irene Recovery
Vermont Educators Care: Vermont NEA has a website where you can register for help or request donations
Vermont AID: A guide to flood relief help for Vermonters
VT Response Exchange: This site provides a basic mechanism for those affected by the Irene floods to connect with people looking to donate items. Think of it as Craigslist for disasters.