Flood Resources 2023July 11, 2023
Originally published on July 11, 2023. Last updated Sept. 26, 2023.
As we are all aware, Vermont has recently been affected by severe flooding, causing significant challenges for our local communities.
Here at VFN, we want to express our concern for any of our member businesses and staff who may have been directly impacted by the flooding. If you and/or your business have been affected, please know that the VFN's thoughts are with you and we are here to offer any help we can.
We don't know yet how many of our members have been affected by these floods, or how bad the damage will be, but if you need volunteer assistance with physical clean-up efforts, repairs, or other tasks please let us know. If there's anything in particular the Network can do to support you, we want to help.
Gov. Phil Scott has announced a $20 million emergency grant fund for businesses impacted by the floods. More information about this fund, including application information for impacted businesses, can be found here. (Note that as of Sept. 20, 2023, applicants are eligible to receive awards for up to 30% of their uncovered damages, with no cap on the total award amount.)
Restaurants, chefs, and buyers:
- The Vermont Agency of Commerce website has resources about documenting damage, obtaining disaster loans, recruiting volunteers for cleanup efforts, and more.
- Keep an eye on the Vermont Small Business Development Center's website and resources for funding opportunities (via grants and loans) available for businesses repairing and rebuilding after the floods.
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility has released a resource guide for businesses impacted by the floods.
- The newly created Vermont Main Street Recovery Fund is raising funds for Vermont's independently owned businesses that have been impacted by the 2023 flood. The goal is to quickly raise $1 million; 100% of which will be immediately turned around and handed out to businesses that have applied for support. Applications for impacted businesses will open on July 19.
- The Small Business Association is offering disaster loan assistance for impacted businesses in Vermont.
- If your restaurant or kitchen is short on product due to interrupted deliveries and/or crop losses and you're seeking new producer partners, fill out Vermont Fresh Network's resource survey, or add your information to NOFA-VT's distribution matchmaking spreadsheet.
- VFN Sponsor Efficiency Vermont is hosting a webinar to answer questions about rebuilding a home or business post-flooding. The webinar is on August 10, but the recording will be saved and available for those unable to attend. Register here.
Farmers and specialty producers:
- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has set aside a $4 million fund for Vermont agricultural producers impacted by the recent flooding. Learn more and apply with your local NRCS service center.
- The Vermont Agency of Agriculture and UVM Extension hosted a Q&A session on Thursday, July 20 from 12:00-1:00 pm. They discussed what to do with flooded produce, corn and other forage crops, and feed crops. View the meeting recording here.
- Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts is urging all farms across the state to report crop loss related to the floods. This can include crops lost to flooded fields, crops lost due to wet/oversaturated fields, inability to take crops to market due to road closures, or any other product loss related to the flooding events. Report all losses to your local FSA Agency.
- Also, check with your local FSA office to see if you're enrolled in the Non-Insured Crop Assistance Program. If you've worked with FSA before, you may be signed up for the program and be able to access support.
- Respond to the Agency of Agriculture's Severe Weather and Flooding Loss & Damage Survey.
- If your farm has sustained equipment loss, barn or infrastructure damage, please contact FEMA. The simplest way to begin this process is to call 2-1-1 or visit vermont211.org to report. Reporting any damage that you have sustained will help the entire state gain access to federal aid and help for your neighbors.
- The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is preparing a feed directory, where farmers with feed surplus can share with farmers who have experienced feed/crop loss. More information about this program will be available soon.
- UVM Extension is offering FREE routine soil testing for flood-impacted farms. Learn more here.
- To assess whether fossil fuel contamination is present in flooded soil, growers can contact Endyne Labs in Williston about a "TPH" petroleum screen.
- Farm First is a free, Vermont-based program that is offering technical, legal, and financial assistance and resources to farms.
- If you have a surplus of product from early harvesting and you need to find a market, fill out Vermont Fresh Network's resource survey, or add your information to NOFA-VT's distribution matchmaking spreadsheet.
- UVM Extension has a full list of disaster and flood recovery resources on their website.
- A full list of agricultural flood resources is also available on the Vermont Agency of Agriculture website.
Ways to support impacted farms, restaurants, and other small businesses in your community during these challenging times:
- NOFA-VT is organizing volunteers for farms who need help with cleanup efforts. Sign up using their intake form here.
- Vermont.gov also has a volunteer portal, where you can volunteer based on your skills and be matched with an organization in need.
- Many different businesses and organizations have set up their own funds for recovery. Provide direct financial support farms and businesses that suffered flood damage by visiting the VFN website. We'll continue to update this page with fundraisers for restaurants, farms, and other businesses in the Network.
- VFN is also continuing to update our Flood Resources webpage, as new information becomes available.
Here are some additional resources we’ve gathered that may be helpful:
- VT DOH - Stay Safe in a Flood
- VT DOH - Guidance for Food Establishments for Re-Opening After Flooding
- Disaster Assistance (driven by address)
- For those that have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), HERE is the link with information about submitting a claim and what to expect during the claim process
- FEMA - Information is pretty limited as of now, but will likely be updated as more resources become available
- Vermont Mutual Aid - ask for help, or offer help
- Crowd-sourced Vermont resource list
If you need assistance, you can call one of the N11 numbers below to connected to support:
- 2-1-1 Community services and information
- 3-1-1 Municipal government non-emergency services (3-1-1 is NOT used in Vermont)
- 4-1-1 Directory assistance (not officially assigned by the FCC)
- 6-1-1 Telephone company customer service and repair (not officially assigned by the FCC)
- 7-1-1 TDD and Relay services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- 8-1-1 Underground public utility location (“Dig Safe”)
- 9-1-1 Emergency services (police, fire, ambulance)
Flood Safety Tips:
- If rising water is approaching, leave.
- Evacuate over high ground and plan that route now for this weekend and any time there may be flooding.
- Never drive or walk through floodwaters. Strong currents or unseen washouts can sweep you and your car away.
- Turn off the circuit breaker in your home before you evacuate – if you can do so safely.
- Have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system before you once again occupy your business if it has been flooded.
- If you are in a flood-prone area, or if you believe your home will be flooded, it is advisable to move valuables from your basement in case water enters your home.
- Check your insurance coverage now, and then contact your insurance company if you have damage.
Guidance from the Vermont Small Business Development Center:
- Clearly your safety and the safety of your staff is most important. If you do not have a phone/email/chat tree to keep your staff in touch, create one today.
- As much as you want to go in and check on the situation, do not enter your location if there is flooding. But do take many pictures from a safe distance.
- Call your local insurance agent. Do exactly as they direct.
- Begin DOCUMENTATION related to step #2:
- Take pictures of everything you do from this point forward.
- Keep a running narrative of every action you take.
- Begin to estimate the cost of the damage (this becomes critical if the state is required to collect enough financial impact to get a Federal Disaster Declaration. If that becomes necessary, we will be giving you instructions on how to share your information with the state).
- Also make sure to keep all of your financial data up to date and backed up.
The state is also providing updated information at these two sites:
For additional updates, you can find below some recommended social media accounts to follow:
- Vermont Emergency Management:
- Twitter: @vemvt
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vermontemergencymanagement
- VT State Police:
- VT Division of Fire Safety:
- VT Agency of Transportation:
- VT Department of Health:
- National Weather Service Burlington:
- Disaster Recovery (Rutland area), 877-765-6340
- Catamount Carpet Cleaners (Wilmington area), 802-464-3839
- GW Savage (Rutland and Burlington areas, may go down to Brattleboro area), 800-684-0404
- PuroClean (Middlebury area), 888-379-6940
- Catamount Restoration (Manchester area), 239-348-1555
- Servpro of Cheshire and Windham Counties, 800-352-7251
- Tri-State Restoration (Southern VT & NH), 800-352-6802
- Servpro of Bennington, 802-375-1500
- Quality Cleaning & Restoration (Southern VT, NH and Western MA), 413-774-7737
- Rescon/ARS (Southern VT, NH and MA), 877-461-1111
Please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com if you need anything. We are thankful for your commitment to our food and farm community, and are here to offer our support however we can.