IMPORTANT: Information on FEMA Resources for Libraries

I continue to get information from a variety of sources to help in libraries post-storm.

In order to get FEMA funding in Vermont, libraries should:

  1. Document all damage – even the smallest amount of moisture/water. Take lots of photos and take good notes with dates.
  2. Keep ALL receipts.
  3. Document all volunteer activity with a log of names and times of signing in and signing out.

See below for more information.

Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries

Information for Vermonters and Visitors on Impacts of Hurricane Irene:

August 30th, 2011 Status of FEMA efforts:

The President has made an Emergency Declaration for Vermont. This type of declaration allows Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to immediately assist with shelters, National Guard, emergency repairs, etc. FEMA is gearing up to do Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) in each of the 14 counties. The Goal of this phase is to document sufficient damage to get a Major Disaster Declaration from the President.

If you want information on road conditions, call 511:

“511” provides Vermonters and visitors to the state with information on state road closures. The Agency of Transportation is working 24/7 to update the information as fast as possible. AOT is working on a system to report local roads as well.

If you are an individual and need immediate help, call 211:

“211” is the resource to help individuals access services now and to register information on individual property damage. (For more information, go to:

If you are a business (for-profit; non-profit; multi-family housing provider, etc.) call 828-3211:

If you are a business looking to report damage to your business or would like to speak to someone about additional resources available, please call 828-3211. The ACCD has set up a system to document damage to businesses and properties (both for and non-profit businesses, including mulit-family housing providers and services) in order to assist FEMA in their collection of information.

Communities are reporting storm damage for inclusion in the preliminary damage assessment.

Communities also need to report damages and that information goes to the Vermont Emergency Management. The link to their site for communities to input information is at and filling out the survey on the site. The Regional Planning Commissions are also helping with emergency management for towns in their region. For contact information for an RPC in your town, go to

Documenting Impacts to Historic Properties:

ACCD is helping to document impacts to historic resources for various reasons – a) When FEMA teams begin to work in communities they will be aware ahead of time of damaged/destroyed historic properties and can focus on those; b) It will give the historic preservation community a better sense of the extent and location of major damage and where we can help best during the recovery phase; c) It will help us better plan education and training information and workshops during the recovery phase.

What You Can Do Now:

If you or your property has a significant cultural collection that has been damaged, take immediate corrective action – – if your roof is leaking, put a roof on your building; if your carpets are wet, get them dried. If your collections or museum facility has been damaged, put your Emergency Plan in Place NOW.

FEMA recommends that you:

  • Take lots of photos and document the damage
  • Keep all receipts
  • Document all volunteers who are helping out (you can use this for your cost share) – – Use a “Sign-in” book, with their name, time in, time out
  • Take action NOW to protect your property

NOTE: You may or may not be eligible for FEMA or other federal assistance but in case you are, the above information will be critical.

As the Floodwaters Recede — A Checklist of Things to Do:

(Courtesy Preservation Trust of Vermont, at Adapted from: INFORMATION, National Trust for Historic Preservation Booklet No. 82, 1993, Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings, and provided courtesy of the New Bern Historic Preservation Commission.

The following checklist will help you respond to flood damage in historic and older buildings. Read the steps through carefully and take time to plan. While it is tempting to wade right in with a shovel and mop, it is very important to develop a plan for cleanup and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, overly zealous cleanup efforts can result in historic materials being carted away, excessively rough cleaning methods, and the unnecessary loss of historic fabric. The best way to prevent additional damage to historic structures and materials during a time of duress is to use caution and plan ahead.

  • Follow all emergency rules, laws, and regulations
  • Turn off all utilities
  • Document building damage
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Stabilize any unstable structures with temporary bracing
  • Use caution when pumping basement water
  • Keep building properly ventilated
  • Clean everything that got wet with a disinfectant
  • Allow saturated materials to dry using natural ventilation
  • Check for foundation damage
  • Replace soil around foundation
  • Save historic materials if possible
  • Use caution when removing lead-based paint or any products containing asbestos
  • Clean and repair roof and roof drainage systems to protect building from future damage