Vermont’s $2.4 Million Disaster Grant Approved by FEMA

FEBRUARY 21 – MONTPELIERGov. Peter Shumlin announced today that Vermont will receive a $2.4 million grant from FEMA for recovery services for survivors of Tropical Storm Irene. The funds will assist with unmet needs, including housing, social services and more.

The grant will be managed by the Vermont Agency of Human Services, which will contract with three Community Action agencies to hire 11 case managers through August of 2013.  Those case managers will work with the same clients from start to finish, identifying the assistance already received, prioritize what disaster related needs remain, and locating the resources available.  Case managers will follow up with individuals to ensure all needs are met.

The case managers will be working in partnership with 11 Long Term Recovery Committees around Vermont.  Those who are still in need of case management services should call 2-1-1 to be referred to the appropriate Long Term Recovery Committee.

The funding request was prepared and submitted by the Vermont Agency of Human Services and strongly supported by Vermont’s Congressional delegation.

“I am grateful that FEMA is recognizing Vermonter’s efforts to respond to Tropical Storm Irene.  Through the creation of partnerships at the state and municipal level and the creation of long-term recovery centers Vermonters worked together to recover from Irene’s devastation,” said Gov. Shumlin. “This grant will help fill the gap for individuals who need the most long-term help to rebuild their lives.”

Senator Patrick Leahy added, “This grant makes clear that federal agencies will ‘stay in the game’ with Vermonters coping with Irene’s aftermath, supporting state and local recovery needs well into 2013.  We know that the damage done by a disaster of this magnitude lasts long after the headlines have ebbed and the State of Vermont showed great foresight and planning by pursuing this grant.”

Senator Bernie Sanders said, “It is impressive the degree to which Vermonters have rebounded from the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Irene.  However, there are many Vermonters who have had trouble navigating the array of federal, state, private and non-profit assistance, and there are others who have regrettably fallen through the cracks.  This grant will provide much-needed resources so the state and community action agencies can work with these individuals and families to make sure they are getting all of the assistance they are eligible for.”

Congressman Peter Welch said, “In characteristic fashion, Vermonters are getting back on their feet with neighbors helping neighbors and communities rallying around those hit hardest by Irene’s wrath. But the storm caused immense damage in many parts of Vermont, from which it will take years to recover. These funds will assist organizations doing great work and helping in that long-term recovery effort.”