Declaration provides more resources to help recovery
Administrator Deanne Criswell announced Tuesday evening, July 18, that President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. made additional disaster assistance available to the state of Vermont to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe flooding beginning on July 7 and continuing.
The President authorized the federal cost-share for emergency protective measures to be increased from 75% to 100% for a 30-day period of the state’s choosing within the first 120 days from the start of the incident period.
The major disaster declaration made funding available for individual assistance, public assistance, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and other needs assistance for total eligible costs.
President Joe Biden has approved Governor Phil Scott’s request for a major disaster declaration for Vermont to assist individuals and communities recover from historic flooding from July 7-12. The approval was given in under 24 hours, and announced Friday, July 14.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation to President Biden and his team at FEMA for their incredibly quick approval of the declaration,” said Governor Scott. “Vermonters are hurting, and federal assistance will be critical as we rebuild and recover. My team is committed to working with federal and local partners to make sure Vermonters get all resources available to them to recover from these catastrophic floods.”
Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, arrived in Vermont Monday, July 17. He joined Gov. Phil Scott to assess flood damage to the state’s infrastructure and meet with emergency responders.
Scott tweeted, Friday: “As we transition to the recovery phase of our response, on Monday, I will welcome @SecretaryPete to Vermont to evaluate damage to our roads and bridges and talk about how we will rebuild our infrastructure. I appreciate the close collaboration with our federal partners.”
The federal major disaster declaration provides funding under the Federal Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (IA) programs. A public assistance disaster declaration allows communities to receive at least 75% reimbursement for emergency storm repairs to public infrastructure. A further declaration for recovery repairs is pending an official preliminary damage assessment (PDA).
Approved grants to individuals will be capped at $41,000 each for housing and personal property. This is non-taxable. Individuals can also apply through FEMA for critical needs assessment funding, which would provide $700 for emergency needs like a hotel stay, food, etc.
The individual assistance program helps individuals impacted by the disaster seek reimbursement for necessary expenses and serious needs that cannot be met through insurance or other forms of assistance. Eligible expenses include rental assistance, home repair, home replacement, and lodging, among other expenses. Pending a formal assessment, counties included under this declaration are also pending a preliminary damage assessment.
Individuals who suffered losses in the storm should continue clean up and repairs of their home or business, taking photos and documenting expenses. They should also report that damage to Vermont 211, either by dialing 2-1-1 or by visiting vermont211.org. This data informs the disaster assessment and allows FEMA to reach out to applicants directly.
Vermont counties should continue making repairs to public infrastructure, documenting all work carefully for their applications. Eligible reimbursement costs include emergency repair work on public roads, tree and debris removal from public rights of way, municipal employee overtime spent working on the emergency, contractor help, equipment rentals, and other costs associated with the emergency response.
For more information visit: DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.