FEMA sets up long-term Disaster Recovery Center at Flood Brook School Individuals, businesses urged to sign up for assistance

The Weston Fire Department, to the left, and other buildings on Route 100 in Weston are under water. Photo by Ali Ulrich.

The Weston Fire Department, to the left, and other buildings on Route 100 in Weston were submerged under the July 10 flood. Photo by Ali Ulrich.

By Cynthia Prairie
©2023 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a Disaster Recovery Center at the gymnasium of Flood Brook School, at 91 VT-11 in Londonderry, to help those impacted by the floods of Monday, July 10.

FEMA and the Small Business Administration will be on hand to help those affected get aid for flood damage to the their homes, rental units and businesses and help with the costs of meeting related needs.

This site is open to everyone in any of the nine counties currently declared disaster areas by the federal government. Those are Windham, Windsor, Chittenden, Orleans, Caledonia, Lamoille, Rutland, Washington and Orange.

The DRC is scheduled to be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through mid-August, including Saturdays when the West River Farmers Market is  making its temporary home at the school.  The West River Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is held outside on the westside of the school property each Saturday until it can return to Williams Park in a few weeks.

Those seeking assistance from FEMA and the Small Business Administration will need to enter through the school’s main entrance, where a security officer will clear you for entrance into the gym. There you will find more than a dozen FEMA and SBA representatives  to walk you through the process.

Representatives suggest that although FEMA handles individuals as opposed to businesseses, both should register with FEMA to obtain a case number and get the ball rolling. For businesses, that case number will be passed along directly to the SBA. Or you can register with the SBA on line by clicking here.

Jann Tracey, a media specialist with FEMA, urged those coming into the center bring with them:

  • proof of homeownership such as a deed or a tax bill;
  • or proof of rental address such as utility bills;
  • home and rental insurance information or the name of your agent, if you have insurance;
  • new address and working phone number if you relocated;
  • address of the damaged property;
  • Social Security number.

SBA Teams go door-to-door to aid businesses; guaranteed loan webinar set

Meanwhile, the SBA is sending out teams from its Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience to go door-to-door  to contact survivors and notify Vermont businesses damaged by the storms that they are eligible to apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans.

According to a press release,  team members will be “wearing SBA Disaster Assistance shirts or jackets, have Federal ID cards with their name, photo and SBA logo on them, and will not hesitate to produce their IDs if requested. Survivors will be asked for their names, and the names of the owners of the damaged properties.” However, these outreach teams will not be asking survivors “for any personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers or date of birth … That information should only be provided when applying online or when visiting a recovery center.”

The SBA also announced that it will hold an online webinar Loan Clinic at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 2, to talk about its  guaranteed loan programs, which makes it “easier for small businesses to get the funding by reducing lender risk. Funds can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and operating capital. Amounts range from $500 to $5.5 million.”

To access the webinar, visit http://ow.ly/SNs050IsxAM.  To access the webinar by phone, call 802-490-7604 and enter code 301113174#.

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Filed Under: Flood News UpdatesFloods of 7-10-23How to Get HelpLatest News

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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