Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Irene Recovery Resources

Berlin Friends & Neighbors -

There is SO MUCH information to share regarding recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. I anticipate sending out more information in the next few days when I have more time... I've been working more than 12 hours a day with VT Emergency Mgmt which has been open 24x7 since Irene hit on the Augusut 28th and just now we're starting to cut back the hours. I've thrown together some information (see below) and hope you will share with those who need it. If you have information to share, please send it along to me. If this email is forwarded to somebody not on my email list, please let me know if you'd like to join the send list. It's always nice to know who is getting the information. There is also a Berlin, VT Community facebook page (newspaper as the profile picture) - if we can grow the number of folks on that page I would like to use that to help get out information.

Grab hold of your calendar!

Berlin Elementary School to Offer FEMA Registration Kiosk
Families requesting flood assistance from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, must first register online or by telephone and receive a confirmation “case” number. Recognizing that many members of the Berlin community may have lost their access to telephone and internet services in the recent flood, the Berlin Elementary School will establish a FEMA registration kiosk at the school beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2011. The area will include a telephone and computer with internet access. Staff at the school will be available to support residents in the use of the technology and in navigating the FEMA registration process. This service is provided free of charge and will be available during school hours through September 30, 2011. For more information, contact Chris Dodge, Principal, at 802-223-2796 ext. 120


Berlin Select Board Meeting with Residents 9/8 at 6pm at school

On Thursday, September 8th at 6 pm, the Berlin Select Board will meet at the Berlin Elementary School with residents impacted by the recent flooding. The purpose of this meeting is to update residents on the recent flood damage. In addition, representatives from FEMA and the Vermont Floodplain Management Program will be in attendance to discuss floodplain concerns. Specifically, FEMA and the Vermont Floodplain Management Program will discuss the issue of homes in the flood hazard zone and what type of flood hazard mitigation may be required prior to the replacement of homes or performing substantial improvements to the homes. All residents are encouraged to attend and to get the word out to others about the meeting. Contact Jeff Schulz at 223-4405 with any questions.

This Special Berlin Select Board meeting regarding flooding will be able to be viewed LIVE!! What a great option on your computer if you're not able to be there in person! Thursday night 9/8 at 5:55 PM. Thanks to Sonia and Carl Parton for doing this and getting the word out!

Berlin residents with flood damaged homes urged to attend meeting
BERLIN – Town residents whose homes were significantly damaged or destroyed in recent flooding are encouraged to attend a Thursday night meeting with flood hazard experts at Berlin Elementary School .

Arranged by the Select Board the meeting will provide residents displaced in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene to quiz federal and state officials about the rules for repairing or replacing substantially damaged homes that are located in the designated floodway.

Representatives from Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Vermont Floodplain Management Program are expected to attend the 6 p.m. session to answer questions that largely – if not exclusively – pertain to dozens of residents of Weston’s Mobile Home Park on Route 12.

Flooding caused by the downgraded hurricane wiped out the majority of the park – prompting town officials to issue an emergency health order restricting access to 70 of the park’s 83 lots until further notice.

When issuing the health order last week, town officials conceded they couldn’t’ say precisely how much of the park is actually located in the floodway, though they guessed as much as 80 percent of the property could be subject to strict federal regulations, state law and Berlin’s own bylaws.

Among other things, those bylaws state: “… Replacement of manufactured homes located in the designated floodway shall not be permitted unless a registered professional engineer certifies that the replacement home has been designed to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement due to flood flow velocities.”

In handling late-May flooding that wiped out the lower portion of River Run Mobile Home Park on the Barre-Montpelier Road, town officials concluded that standard would likely require elevating mobile homes on concrete “stilts” and anchoring them to the ground.

Another portion of the town’s bylaws state: “… New manufactured homes shall be elevated on properly compacted fill such that the top of the fill (the pad) under the entire manufactured home is above the base flood elevation.”

Ignoring those regulations could jeopardize the town’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, while enforcing them creates an expense that would have to be borne by the mobile home owners, the park owner, or both.

That problem resolved itself at River Run where affected mobile homes were abandoned by their owners and the company appointed by the court to operate the park indicated it had no intention of upgrading the 12 lots that were located in the floodway.

Given the size of the park and the number of lots potentially affected, the stakes are much higher at Weston’s where owner Ellery Packard has been working to repair damaged infrastructure – including the park’s drinking water supply – while his tenants have cleaning up their damaged mobile homes.

Most of those mobile homes are believed to have suffered “substantial damage” in the latest flood and, if they are located in the floodway, would have to be flood-proofed in accordance with the zoning bylaws and other applicable regulations.

“Substantial damage” is defined as damage that exceeds 50 percent of the fair market value of a home – a figure that is relatively easy to hit when dealing with relatively inexpensive mobile homes.

By David Delcore / Staff Writer


Register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621- FEMA (3362)

Assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help recover from the disaster. Even those with insurance may be eligible for help from FEMA if their insurance policy does not cover all their needs.

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.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center:
DRC #2 16 Auditorium Hill, Barre, VT 05641
Hours of operation: 8am – 6pm seven days a week


If you had damages from Tropical Storm Irene and you have not already registered with 2-1-1 please still give them a call. By calling 2-1-1 that let’s the state know you have damages and can potentially access help from agencies such as Red Cross, VOAD, etc. They are basically collecting your name, contact information and what type of damages there were.
Register with FEMA & 2-1-1 even if you’re not if you qualify for any assistance.


Flood Center reopens in Barre – In response to the increased need for help and information, RSVP, the Green Mountain United Way and the City of Barre will reopen the Barre Flood Help Center on Main Street in Barre for at least a two week period. “We are committed to helping our community recover from this disaster” says JoEllen Calderara of RSVP, “we know this will be a very long process and we want to help get accurate information to people as quickly as we can.” The Flood Center will be open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays starting Tuesday, September 6th. 479-4526 126 N. Main Street next to Wobby Jewelers


Weston Trailer Park – supplies available on Saturday / Donations needed Friday!

On Saturday, 9/10/11 from 10 am to 12 pm, a capital candy box truck will be available on 2nd street in Weston with clothes, food, water and cleaning supplies for disaster victims. The clothes will be broken down by sizes and everything is free for disaster victims in central Vermont. If individuals have a request for clothing sizes, please email Jon at

From Jon: “We have a Stuff A truck event at Rent A center Friday 8am to 8pm. We really need food, water, cleaning supplies...more than clothes now...we GOT ALOT (of clothes) is the information for the stuff a truck: Rent A Center, 347 North Main Street, Barre, Vermont 05641”


Road Closure Info: 511 or


Agency of Transportation “Google Map of Irene Related Transportation Issues in Vermont”


VTDigger Guide to Flood Relief Help


Central VT Community Action Council


VT Irene Flood Relief Fund - Helping Vermont's small businesses hit by Irene


News from the Governor’s Office:


Vermont Emergency Management updates via Facebook and their website:


Images and stories of the damage and recovery efforts:


List of places that need resources and assistance:


Flood Cleanup Guide


Red Cross:


PHISH – A Benefit for Vermont Flood Recovery on September 14th at Champlain Valley Expo. Tickets on sale this Saturday 10am for $75 each, in-person, cash. Locations of ticket sales will be announced on their website on Friday.


Vermont depends on tourists: Roads to leaf-peeper season sidetracked by Irene and


Voices for Vermont: A Special Flood Relief Benefit Concert

Saturday, September 10 · 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Vermont State House Lawn, State Street, Montpelier, VT

The line-up:

Banjo Dan & The Mid-nite Plow Boys
Jon Gailmor
Pete Sutherland & Friends
Rik Palieri & Rebecca Padula
Nationally acclaimed vocal ensemble, Counterpoint (founded by VSO Chorus Conductor, Robert DeCormier)
Young singers from communities around the state including the VT Youth Orchestra Chorus
Vermont-based, international Soprano Shyla Nelson
(more artists to be announced)
100% of funds raised will be donated to the United Ways of Vermont and the Red Cross of VT&NH. Volunteers will be onsite collecting cash or check donations during the concert.

Gov. Peter Shumlin will kick-off the concert to recognize what our State has endured these past several days and to honor those lives lost in this tragedy. He will join with Vermont’s finest artists to celebrate our resolve and commitment to helping our neighbors and communities rebuild.

Check for updates at the Good Earth Singers Blog

National Life $120,000 donation to support the relief and rebuilding efforts in Vermont from Tropical Storm Irene. They will also match donations from employees to flood relief organizations.

Northfield Savings Bank $100,000 donation to the Green Mountain United Way for immediate disaster relief. Funds will be distributed to community-based organizations in central Vermont that are providing immediate assistance to those in need. The intention is to help community organizations facilitate the delivery of basic human needs; food, clothing and shelter. Individuals in need of assistance should call VT 2-1-1 in order to be directed to the appropriate community organizations.


High-water Ho-Down Flood Relief Jam Session to benefit the Berlin Community affected by recent flooding. Friday, September 23rd 6pm-9pm at the Berlin Elementary School. Come listen to great music from local bands and musicians and help out your community by donating much needed food and supplies. High demand items include: Housewares, non-perishable food items, clothing, linens, toiletries, cleaning supplies. For more information email Jessica Heinz at or call her at the school 223-2796. This event will include a 50/50 raffle. Desserts and refreshments will be sold.


Restaurants Reach-Out Post Irene



ReSOURCE has established a flood relief fund to provide essential services free of charge to low income Vermonters who lack insurance and the necessary support needed to recover from the devastating flooding in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. ReSOURCE reached out in response to the widespread flooding in May in order to provide critical support to low income families and received overwhelming feedback confirming the need of essential goods and services. We expect even more demand in the wake of the recent flooding due to the scope of destruction and are committed to providing help in the following ways:

1. Rebuilding help through our YouthBuild construction crews. We are a BPI certified contractor and do both home construction, weatherization and solar thermal hot water installs (if folks need to replace their hot water heater, perhaps they should consider going solar).

2. Deconstruction Service: one way to increase the amount of materials available for rebuilding is to deconstruct buildings that must be removed rather than demolish and put in landfill.

3. Essential Goods: we will offer vouchers through our ReLIEF program for our used major appliances, furniture, housewares, and building materials. Also, if folks have insurance money or government aid, but have a fixed budget/cap, then they could obtain replacement goods much more cheaply through our Barre and Burlington ReSTOREs.

To meet this need, ReSOURCE is committed to providing the services above and with your help will be able to provide more ReLIEF Essential Goods and Building Materials, and help to ReUSE and ReBUILD.
ReSOURCE seeks to raise $50,000 the form of donated goods (used furniture, building materials, home goods) and cash donations.

Please donate: Thank you.


From the Office of Senator Patrick Leahy:

Flood Resource Guide:



The GMTA Berlin offices sustained substantial damage during the recent Irene-related flood. This damage has required GMTA to temporarily move administrative functions to another location. Due to our temporary relocation, you may experience phone and service delays. However, we are operating and appreciate your patience.

If you have any questions about GMTA services, please continue to contact us at (802) 223-7287 between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM.


Vermont Foodbank

During this time of natural disaster in so many areas across the state, the Vermont Foodbank is working to provide additional supplies of shelf stable foods to you as soon as possible. We are partnering with Feeding America, along with federal and state emergency management programs to help you keep needed items in stock. This week we have sent our trucks out to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and across Vermont to bring donations back to our distribution centers in Barre and Brattleboro. We will also be receiving donations from C & S, Hannaford and Hormel in the next week or so, along with supplies from our sister food banks and additional generous donors. We will be bringing in truckloads of water, ready-to-eat meals, snacks, bleach, ice, and other applicable products specifically for those agencies that have been hit hard by the flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.

We realize that many of your locations have been flooded. It is critical to dispose of any food that has been compromised by flood waters or food that has been out of the temperature safety zone for too long (due to loss of electricity). If you are disposing of TEFAP food, please be sure to take an inventory of what is being disposed and report that back to us. The general food safety guidelines say that you may be able to salvage canned goods that have only been touched by flood waters, not submerged, by sanitizing the cans in a bleach and water solution. But remember; when in doubt throw it out.

All of us at the Vermont Foodbank wish you the best. Chris

Christine Meehan, Chief of Programs and Network Services



Facebook page: Vermont Hurricane Irene Lost & Found!/pages/Vermont-Hurricane-Irene-Lost-Found/171093546298027


How You Can Help Farmers

Offer your service to help farmers clean their fields and barns (if not one in Berlin, there are others nearby).

Buy whatever the farms have available for sale. Pay them more than what they are asking.

The money that you give farmers now is likely the money that they will have to live on until they have salable crops in the future. Many farms have not only lost crops this year, but they have also lost valuable land and soil that will make it difficult for them recover fully next year or possibly even in the next several years.

If you are a CSA member, don't expect to receive any more food for this year. Don't ask for a refund from your CSA farmer. The idea of a CSA is that shareholders share in both the bounty and losses with the farmer.

Do a fundraiser for a farmer / make a financial donation.

Call congressional representatives and ask for grant money (not low interest loans) to help out the farmers.

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