People & Places

Vermont Aid (Updated): A guide to flood-relief help for Vermonters

Editor’s note: This how-to guide for donating funds, volunteering and locating Vermont flood-relief help has been compiled from a wide variety of sources, including Seven Days,, the Burlington Free Press, the Times Argus and Rutland Herald and other Vermont newspapers, state and federal agencies and many statewide helping-hand organizations. We will be updating this list daily, so keep checking back. If you know of a resource, fund or volunteer service we missed, let us know at [email protected] or leave a comment below. ~Anne Galloway


  • Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
  • You can donate to the United Way’s Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online, or by sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the “Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.” United Way of Chittenden County is acting as fiscal agent for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund: 864-7541.
  • You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in. (802)-660-9130
  • The Intervale Center has started a fund to help the farmers at Burlington’s Intervale who lost their crops to flooding. To make a contribution, donate to the Intervale and designate your donation to the “Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund.” Or mail a check payable to Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund to the Intervale Center, 180 Intervale Road, Burlington, VT 05401.
  • The Red Cross is also asking for blood donations. For more information visit. 802-660-9130
  • Coupons For Charity, based in East Calais, 185 Lilleyville Road, East Calais VT 05650, is taking donations of care packages of designated products that will be delivered directly to the people in need.
  • The Mad River Valley Community Fund, a nonprofit organization established in 1989 to specifically respond to the needs of Mad River Valley residents, has reopened its flood fund. Tax- deductible donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 353, Waitsfield, VT 05673.
  • Vermont Catholic Charities has a disaster-relief fund and has asked for contributions to help Irene’s victims. Every dollar received will be distributed to those who have been adversely impacted by the storm.
  • Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington will host a benefit barbecue starting at noon Saturday at its headquarters. The proceeds would go to the United Way of Vermont, which is acting as fiscal agent for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.
  • The Underhill Town Hall, in conjunction with VTResponse .com, has opened a donation location for the hurricane relief effort. Items needed are 5-gallon buckets, sponges, masks, rubber gloves, cleaning supplies, bleach, boxes, masking tape, fans, headlamps, dehumidifiers, personal care items, towels, linens, blankets and pet food. Donations can be dropped off at 12 Pleasant Valley Road, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays (except Friday) and this Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon. 899-4434 ext. 1.
  • The Preservation Trust of Vermont is collecting donations to rebuild covered bridges and historic buildings destroyed or damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. Paul Bruhn, executive director of the organization, said 100 percent of the money will be used for engineering and architectural analysis and for rehabilitation work. Preservation Vermont will cover any administrative expenses from other sources. Donors may designate their donation specifically for bridges or for buildings if they choose. Make a donation on their site and be sure to note “Hurricane Relief” in the Comments section.
  • The Weston Playhouse, the professional theater company in southern Vermont that suffered an estimated $100,000 in damage, has set up an emergency fund: send checks to Weston Playhouse Theatre Co.; 703 Main St., Weston, VT 05161.
  • Club Metronome and Nectar’s, the two night spots that occupy one building on Main Street in Burlington, will host a benefit for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund on Sept. 11, booking agent Alex Budney said. Music is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. upstairs at Club Metronome and a silent auction and DJs will be stationed downstairs at Nectar’s from 2 to 10 p.m.
  • The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. One hundred percent of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.
  • Vermont Baseball Tours has set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt.
  • Independent Vermont Clothing is selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.
  • Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.
  • Burr and Burton Academy has started a fund to help relief efforts in the Manchester area.
  • The Intervale Center has started a fund to help the farmers at Burlington’s Intervale who lost their crops to flooding. To make a contribution, donate to the Intervale and designate your donation to the “Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund.” Or mail a check payable to Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund to the Intervale Center, 180 Intervale Road, Burlington, VT 05401.
  • The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is launching an online auction on Oct. 1 to raise crucial funding for the Farmer Emergency Fund, which will provide financial support to organic and NOFA-VT member farmers whose land and crops were destroyed by the statewide flooding. NOFA-VT hopes to raise at least $30,000 through this auction. For more information about donating or applying for funds, please visit or call 802-434-4122.
  • NOFA Vermont is also accepting donations for their Farmers Emergency Fund to help aid the state’s hard-hit farms.
  • To help Vermont farmers who lost crops, livestock and land to Tropical Storm Irene, the state has created the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Community Foundation teamed up to create the fund, which will pool donations and offer grants to affected farmers. Visit here for more information.
  • The Farmer Emergency Fund, established in 1997 to help organic farmers affected by natural disasters, is asking for donations. Contact Kirsten Bower at the Northeast Organic Farming Association for more information on how to donate or apply for funds at 434-4122 ext. 16.
  • The Deerfield Valley Rotary Club is taking donations to help businesses in Wilmington rebuild. Wilmington was one of the hardest-hit towns, and FEMA funds won’t cover much of the damage to private businesses.
  • Buy an “I Am Vermont Strong” t-shirt and all proceeds will go to relief efforts.
  • City Market in Burlington will donate 1 percent of sales from Saturday, Sept. 3 through Friday, Sept. 16 to the Intervale Farmers’ Recovery Fund.
  • My Little Cup Cake in the Essex Town Shopping Center is donating 10 percent of sales this weekend to Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund.
  • The Waterbury Congregational Church has set up the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund, to help residents who need immediate financial assistance.
  • The Stratton Foundation has set up a relief fund to help the towns of Londonderry, Jamaica, Stratton, Weston, Wardsboro and Winhall.
  • The Vermont Law School has set up the VLS Relief Fund to accept financial contributions to aid VLS students, staff and faculty who have been affected by Tropical Storm Irene.



  • Hard-hit Rochester is having two cleanup weekends — on Sept. 10 and 11, and Sept. 17 and 18. Volunteers can call contact Cindy Ryan ahead of time at 802-767-9100 or show up at the town clerk’s office off School Street between 8 and 10 a.m. Those who lend a hand are encouraged to bring work gloves, dust masks, shovels, tools like crow bars, contractor trash bags, rubber boots and food to share.
  • is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. The site includes a frequently-updated blog and a forum. If you’re looking to help clean up and rebuild, or if you’re in need of assistance, visit their site.
  • Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.
  • Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
  • Vermont Commission on National and Community Service 241-4244 (seeking volunteers).
  • The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
  • Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
  • Upper Valley Haven is operating with considerably fewer volunteers due to road closings. They’re looking for volunteers who are able to travel there.
  • The state is setting up a call center in Burlington to deal with Irene recovery efforts. If you’re in the Burlington area and you can man the phones for a few hours, email the governor’s office here.
  • Volunteers are needed in Richmond to help with flood clean up. Some special equipment is also needed. Wet-vacs, buckets, mops, large fans and dehumidifiers are needed. Please call town administrator Geoffrey Urbanic to learn more at 434-5170.
  • Red Cross of Vermont & Upper Valley, 802-660-9130.
  • Check here for United Way Windham County volunteer registration for longer-term needs coming soon.
  • Check on Facebook pages organized by regions and towns and town websites, listed at right.
  • Food, personal care items and cleaning supplies in Brattleboro area: Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center at 60 South Main St., Brattleboro, or call 802-257-5415.
  • Katye Munger of Rutland is coordinating her own volunteer effort on Facebook. The Sabataso family, which owns The Palms Restaurant in Rutland, has also offered her empty space next to the eatery at 34 Strongs Ave., in order for Restore Rutland to organize volunteers and accept donations of food, water and whatever else victims of the storm might need. Munger said she hoped to be able to have the location staffed through the weekend.
  • A Southern Baptist Disaster Relief command center is to be operational at Resurrection Baptist Church in Montpelier at 144 West Elm St. starting Friday, Sept. 2. Resurrection Church will serve as a disaster relief staging site, along with Capstone Baptist Church in North Bennington. Cooks for feeding units, assessors and people for mud-out work are among the volunteers who are needed. (802)-223-6538
  • Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through its Facebook page.
  • Connect directly with your neighbors via Front Porch Forum.


State, Federal, Local Resources for Flood Victims

How to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
  • Step 1:
    • Apply online anytime at
    • Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to assist with the application process.
    • By smartphone or tablet, use, or for devices with the Android operating system, a FEMA app can be downloaded at
    • When applying for aid, you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.
    • It is helpful to have the following information handy: Current telephone number; address at the time of the disaster and current address; Social Security number, if available; a general list of damage and losses; if insured, the name of insurance company, agent and policy number; bank routing number for any direct deposit.
  • Step 2:
    • Receive a property inspection
    • Within a few days after registering, eligible applicants will be telephoned to make an appointment to have their damaged property inspected. The inspectors, who are FEMA contractors and carry identification badges, visit to make a record of damage. They do not make a determination regarding assistance. There is no cost for the inspection.
  • Step 3:
    • Complete application for aid
    • All applicants will receive a letter from FEMA regarding the status of their requests for federal assistance. Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    • Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline, 800-621-3362 or TTY, 800-462-7585.
    • Those who receive an application packet from the SBA should complete and submit the forms. No one is required to accept a loan, but submitting the application may open the door to additional FEMA grants.
Additonal state homeowner assistance

An additional resource for those whose homes have been damaged is their local homeownership center. These centers are funded, in part, with community development block grants from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. They make low- or deferred-interest loans for home repairs and can help pay for damage that is not covered by insurance, FEMA or SBA disaster loans.

Renters who have been displaced can contact the organizations listed above, local housing nonprofits or housing authorities, or search for available apartments on, or by contacting:

In addition, the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration is available to assist with questions related to flood insurance at or 800-964-1784 in state or 828-3302.

In response to the storm, the commerce agency is:

  • Creating a housing task force, headed by Jennifer Hollar, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development, to work with Vermont Emergency Management and FEMA to develop a housing recovery plan and guide its implementation.
  • Working with fellow housing agencies, Vermont Emergency Management and FEMA to identify vacant apartments that could be available for temporary housing.
  • Requesting a waiver from the Treasury Department that would make vacant apartments in many federally supported properties available to any displaced Vermonter regardless of income.
  • Seeking additional housing and development resources in the form of block grants and Section 8 vouchers from HUD, in coordination with the congressional delegation.
  • Running a call center at the Agency of Commerce to collect damage information from mobile home park and apartment owners at 828-3211 to provide to FEMA.
  • Accompanying FEMA representatives as they tour affected areas and assess housing needs.
  • Reaching out to the private sector and the philanthropic community to help fill the gaps.
  • Any homeowner who has experienced flood damage and whose home is located in one of the major disaster-area-approved counties — Bennington, Windsor, Rutland and Chittenden, Washington and Windham — can apply to FEMA for individual assistance. The Shumlin administration recommends that Vermonters who live in Addison and Orange Counties, areas that have not yet been approved for major disaster assistance, get a head start on the process by contacting 211. Once all of the major disaster areas have been declared, anyone who wants federal disaster relief funding must apply to FEMA for federal assistance. The best way to apply is through the website
  • Businesses that have suffered damage in this week’s storms should call the U.S. Small Business Administration to begin the federal aid process. The SBA provides loans to businesses that have suffered losses to cover cost of recovery and working capital to help with lost business during the storm and recovery. Please call 800-659-2955 or visit www.disasterassistance.govto register for business assistance.Individuals and homeowners are also eligible for SBA loans to help with costs not covered by FEMA grants; those people are already registered when you register with FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or at However, while you are registered, you DO NOT have to take out a loan.
  • Reporting Damages
    Vermonters who have property affected by the storm should report it to the state. There are several phone lines in addition to the 211 number now in operation. Please note that it  is critical to acquiring recovery aid that a statewide inventory of the damage is taken.  Also, if repairs are made by a property owner, it is important to take pictures of the damage,  document the repairs and keep receipts for potential assistance.
  • Individuals:
    Individuals reporting property damage should call 211. If calling from an out of state number, dial 866-652-4636 (NEW).
  • Businesses:
    Businesses should call the Agency of Commerce and Community Development at (ACCD) at 828-3211 to report damage which will be collated for VEM and FEMA. ACCD will also make referrals for financing and technical assistance. The information needed when businesses make the call is: name of business, location (complete address), description of damage, point of contact, date damage occurred. There are additional questions for historic properties. Check out ACCD’s website for more resources for businesses.
  • Housing:
    ACCD is also collecting information on mobile home parks and rental housing damaged by the storm. Owners, including housing agencies, should call the Agency at 802-828-3211 to report damages.
  • Tax Filing Extension:
    An extension of time to file returns with a September 1 due date has been approved by Commissioner Peterson. The following documents will be accepted if they are received by the department by September 30, 2011:
    • Property Tax Adjustment Claim (HS-145 with HI-144), Homestead Declaration (HS-131); and Renter Rebate Claim (PR-141 with HI-144.
    • Current Use Application Sept. 1 due date is also extended and applications with a Sept. 30, 2011 postmark date will be accepted.
    • Property Tax Adjustment Claims processed in time for the September 15 transmission to towns will have the credit applied to the property tax bill. All other Property Tax Adjustment Claims received by September 30, 2011 will have the adjustment mailed directly to the homeowner.
  • State Permitting and Regulatory Requirements:
    Agencies and departments throughout state government have been taking steps to ensure that state permitting and regulatory requirements don’t unreasonably interfere with prompt recovery and reconstruction efforts in these extraordinary circumstances. Here are some examples:
    • Stream Alteration : ANR has four stream alteration experts in the field and a point person available by telephone. They are working directly with Vermonters whose projects implicate stream alteration regulations to help them ensure they are managing their projects in the best way possible. In those cases, ANR is not requiring advance permitting, but is working with individuals to get the job done quickly and properly. For further information, the chief of the rivers program, Mike Kline, can be reached at 802- 793-7617 (cell).
    • Commercial Motor Vehicles Engaged In Emergency Relief Efforts: On Monday morning, Commissioner Ide exercised his authority to declare a regional emergency in support of restoration of services following the storm. His declaration means that certain federal motor safety regulations (such as restrictions on hours of operation) shall not apply to a motor carrier or driver providing direct assistance in emergency relief during the regional emergency.
    • Gravel Extraction: Given the urgent need for gravel in connection with road and other reconstruction projects, on a case-by-case basis, provided the district coordinator is contacted in advance, the Natural Resources Board is exercising its discretion to not enforce Act 250 requirements in connection with certain gravel extractions by responsible parties who comply with District Coordinator guidance in connection with that extraction. Here are the Act 250 District Commission contacts.
    • Utility Reconstruction: Pursuant to his statutory authority, the governor has already granted one waiver of the requirement of a Certificate of Public Good prior to commencing construction and site preparation for electric facilities. As necessary, to ensure rapid restoration of reliable power throughout the state, in appropriate cases the governor stands ready to issue additional waivers.
    • Occupancy Permits: The Vermont Division of Fire Safety will give top priority to requests for occupancy permits by businesses forced to relocate due to destruction associated with Tropical Storm Irene. In the meantime, Division of Fire Safety personnel are on the ground coordinating closely with Vermont Emergency Management to rapidly inspect damaged buildings, identify safety hazards, and keep the recovery process moving forward.
    • Electrical Permits: The Vermont Division of Fire Safety is waiving permitting fees for electrical and energizing permits associated with storm recovery efforts, and is expediting applications for such permits.
  • Consumer Protection Information:
    The office of the attorney general has a number of helpful resources, including guides to avoiding charitable and home improvement fraud. To identify and report fraud or suspicious activity please call 1-800-649-2424 or visit this consumer education site.

More resources

  • The Progressive Party website features a guide to applying for FEMA benefits
  • The Agency of Agriculture has warned farmers not to sell crops that were inundated by floodwaters from Irene. Affected farmers are eligible for federal farm program assistance, farmers should contact their county Farm Services Agency (FSA) office or the State FSA office at 802-658-2803. In addition, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has allocated up to $10 million in low-interest loans that will be made available to businesses and farms hurt by Tropical Storm Irene, contact VEDA at 802-828-5627.
  • If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit
  • Help for municipalities to find equipment and resources for rebuilding from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns: Recovery Resources page is located here.
  • Vermont Community Foundation’s list of resources: Visit our Disaster-Related Giving page. Also, see the Special and Urgent Needs Fund – Irene Recovery at the Vermont Community Foundation.
  • will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 for more information.
  • The Windham & Windsor Housing Trust is offering low-interest loans for home repairs. The 3 percent loans can be used to repair roof, plumbing, electric, and heating repairs, well and septic repair or replacement. For more information, call Jenn Short at 802-246-2116.
  • Google-VTrans road closure map
  • Seven Days crowdsourced map of Vermont flooding locales
  • For regular Windham County flood and road status updates
  • For child care providers who have been affected by Irene, check out the Resources for Relief (Child Care Providers of VT) page on Facebook
  • The Vermont Farm Fund (VFF) has established an emergency loan program. This program will accept applications immediately for $5,000 loans at zero interest to benefit Vermont farms that have been directly affected by the effects of Hurricane Irene. To make a tax deductible donation write a check to the Vermont Farm Fund and mail to the Center for an Agricultural Economy, PO Box 451, 41 S. Main St., Hardwick, VT 05843. To apply for a loan from the VFF, visit here to view and download the application.
  • The Vermont Historical Society is working with the state’s cultural heritage community throughout Vermont to assess the damage to local historical societies, museums and heritage organizations; provide assistance and support through the Cultural Heritage and Art Recovery Team and approved professionals and services; and to keep the affected organizations up to date and informed of services and aid available. Historical or cultural organizations in need of assistance should call Jackie Calder at 802-479-8514 or e-mail her here. An alternate contact is Lisa Evans, League of Local Historical Societies and Museums Manager, at 802-479-8522 or HOPE – Addison County Community Action Group – Addison County Send donations to HOPE, Attn: Kathy Eddy, PO Box 165, Middlebury, VT 05753
  • The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) will offer forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers who have federal or private education loans with VSAC and will have trouble keeping up with their payments as a result of the recent weather disaster. For more information, call 800-798-8722.
  • Flood-relief reference guide for artists and craft artists affected by the flooding: Craft Emergency Relief Fund and Artists’ Emergency Resources (CERF+) Also see CERF+’s Facebook page to post information about yourself, other artists, resources and offers of assistance, or to support its efforts.

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Recent Stories

  • In addition to the towns listed above, the Stratton Foundation is also going to be helping people in the Wardsboro area.

  • This is a fantastic list. Thank you VTDigger. I’ll add Front Porch Forum ( to it.

    Thousands of Vermonters in some of the hardest hit towns are communicating daily with their neighbors and local officials thru their FPF… expressing needs, sharing offers of help, updating status of roads, bridges, water systems, relief efforts and more.

    Vermonters are an amazing lot. Assistance from FEMA, American Red Cross and other large entities is crucial… and that support will go a lot further in VT’s connected communities than in places where people aren’t plugged in to local goings on.

    Some examples…

    • Thanks, Michael. I’ll embed your url in the list, too.

  • Susan Clark

    Fantastic list — thanks so much to VTDigger for compiling all of the options, and thanks in advance for keeping it updated as things change.

    One small thing: Looks like you have both “The Preservation Trust of Vermont” and something called “Preservation Vermont” both linking to the same place (Paul Bruhn’s group). I think you only need the former?

    Thanks again.

  • Cavendish VT has a blog and a Facebook page, which we are using to coordinate information and resources. The blog has daily update of the town information. It’s called Irene Recovery Information and can be linked to by going to the upper right hand side bar and clicking on the link of that name.

  • Please add the Cavendish blog Has good resource information

  • Nick Monsarrat

    Thanks for the suggestion. We will add the Cavendish blog to the Vermont Aid list with our next Update.

  • Bern Rose

    An act of healing the spirit:
    “Grandmothers Gathering to Build Bridges for Peace”
    will be facilitating a Forgiveness, Healing Ceremony this coming Sunday, September 11th in at the Park in Waterbury on Main St ,at 5 PM following ,the” Rise Up Vermont” Fundraiser. All ages are welcomed! There is no charge. Bring a chair if you’d like, and a small stone for part of the ceremony. We hope the use of ceremony and healing will be of benefit to the generations past, present and future. We are a diverse group from many cultures, all living in the greater Central VT area from Randolph to Craftsbury.

  • Michael J. Ducharme

    We are a community based edcuation outreach program at the Barre Technical Center. We are collecting school supplies, clothes, non-perishable food items, blankets, coats, shoes, etc. We are also going to provide labor (9 ninth graders)for those who need help in demolition or rebuilding efforts. We would need to wait until all danger of polluted sites have been cleaned up. Contact us at [email protected] or (802)476-6237 ext 2137. Thanks.

  • Pat McDonald

    Please add the Town of Berlin to the list above. The website is The Rte 12 area in particular was hard hit by Irene to include approximately 70 mobile homes and several single-family homes. The Town has established the Berlin Flood Relief Project which includes a committee of volunteers working to address resident and business issues. Information will continue to be posted on the Town website.

  • The Town of Plymouth created a website at and information can also be found at, our town e-news source. We created the Plymouth Memory Tree Relief and Recovery Fund to assist residents with their needs resulting from the storm.

  • To the many who were affected by Irene, here’s a funny, true story to come out of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene… THE LAUGHTER AFTER THE STORM. One month after the flooding from Irene, six stand-up comedians traveled to Brandon, one of Vermont’s many hard hit towns, to perform in the amazingly-titled benefit “Brand-Aid.” What happened next was beyond what anyone could have expected…