Statewide Cultural Heritage Damage Assessment

The Vermont Historical Society hopes this notification finds you safe and secure. The devastating effects of tropical storm Irene on our state, communities and neighbors are coming to light and we are all wondering where to even begin.Effective communication and collaboration will be imperative to setting in motion the important work that lay ahead.To that end, VHS will work diligently with the cultural heritage community throughout the state 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
  • Keep the affected organizations up to date and informed of services and aid available

If your organization or an organization you know of in a neighboring community has been impacted, please contact Jackie Calder, Curator at(802) 479-8514 or or Lisa Evans, League of Local Historical Societies and Museums Manager at (802) 479-8522 or

Before entering any damaged building, please review the following and do not attempt alone.

As the Floodwaters Recede — A Checklist of Things to Do

The following checklist will help you respond to flood damage in historic and older buildings. Read through the steps 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

Adapted from: 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.

For other important information, please refer to the following links:

Vermont Emergency Management

Vermont Agency of Transportation Road Closures in Vermont

Please note that this map only includes the major roads, and not all of the minor roads that have been wiped out because of the flooding.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Disaster Response Resources

NTHP’s Resources for Responding to Flooding

NTHP’s Response for Homeowners

NTHP’s Response for Local Governments

NTHP’s Response for Local Organizations and Main Streets

Managing Collections after a disaster

How to Save Wet Books

NCPTT Disaster Management and Mitigation Resources

FEMA: Recovering and Coping with Flood Damaged Property

Tips for Drying out a Flood Damaged Building