Press Release

State kicks off Vermont Strong holiday campaign to raise $1M for flood recovery

Courtesy Vermont DMV

Berlin, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced a six-week holiday campaign to raise funds for Vermonters and businesses impacted by this summer’s flooding through ongoing sales of Vermont Strong license plates and limited-edition socks.

Since the “Vermont Strong” license plates were reintroduced in August, $715,000 in proceeds have been donated, with half going to individual needs via the Vermont Community Foundation and half to help businesses through the State’s Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program (BEGAP).

The holiday campaign announced today will hyperfocus funds raised for individual needs in four main areas:

  • Housing needs, like home repairs and heat;
  • Food security;
  • Individual and family assistance for critical needs, like groceries, filling a gas tank, replacing clothing and bedding that was destroyed, medications and more; and
  • Mental health services and support.

The other half of the funds will continue to help businesses through BEGAP, supporting needs that will exceed existing program funds.  These additional funds will work to continue to get Vermont businesses reopened, housing units back online, and bring employees back to work.

“We know how much Vermonters care about each other. The way you showed up over the summer and into the fall is a testament to the strength of our communities and our Vermont resilience,” said Governor Scott. “But there’s more work to do, and more money to raise, to help. Because the fact is, the destruction from the flood will take a long time to clean up, and has a lasting effect for those who lost so much. Vermonters need ongoing help, and this fundraising effort will help.”

The State is hoping to raise another $1 million through this six-week campaign given the ongoing needs for Vermont families and employers.

“As we head into the holiday season, it’s important to be thankful for what’s been done and also to be clear about what yet remains to be done. This campaign offers an important opportunity for Vermonters to step up for their neighbors in those areas of the state that are still recovering.”

“We have heard from so many businesses about the real impact the BEGAP funds had – in getting their doors open, their inventory replenished, and their employees back to work.  These funds also support landlords working to get needed housing units back online,” said Lindsay Kurrle, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “While the initial funds have been distributed, there is still a substantial amount of unmet need from businesses who have yet to receive a payment – and we know every penny can help them get to that next stage of reopening.”

Purchase your Vermont Strong gear or visit the DMV’s Vermont Strong page to support flood impacted Vermonters with housing, food security, individual every-day financial needs, and mental health support, and businesses who need help reopening and bringing back employees. Multiple options are available, including “We Are Vermont Strong” and “We Are Vermont Strong and Tough Too” plates, or a bundle with a plate and pair of Darn Tough “Vermont Strong and Tough Too” socks (sock supplies are limited).

1 reply »

  1. History shows a lot of money raised and how many fingers in the pie? Do we know where the $2 million went from 2022? Do we know where $209 million went from Irene? How much has raised or washed through from 2014? Why with all this “preparedness” after Irene there was little money and/or resources to respond quickly? Hands now out for even more even though after 2011 they set up these organizations and boards? Interesting.

    Release Date:
    August 19, 2022
    BOSTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $2 million to the State of Vermont to reimburse the costs of stabilizing the Waterbury State Office Complex after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

    The $2,052,222 Public Assistance grant will go to the Department of Buildings and General Services for work done to stabilize buildings in the complex in an effort to prevent further damage after the August 2011 storm flooded many of them.

    The state received $53 million in FEMA funding to repair or replace buildings, and spent nearly $13 million drying, cleaning and disinfecting buildings; removing debris; and other measures to preserve the structures.

    But the actual insurance proceeds the state received from their insurance settlement were less than what FEMA estimated when it determined how much reimbursement the project should receive, resulting in the $2 million worth of costs being eligible for FEMA funding.

    “Recovery from a catastrophic event like Tropical Storm Irene is a long and complex process,” said FEMA Region I Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. “FEMA is pleased to assist Vermont as it wraps up the few remaining projects and prepares to close the books on Irene.”

    FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. Vermont received nearly $209 million from the program for Tropical Storm Irene.

    The Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF) provides State funding to match Federal Public Assistance after federally-declared disasters. Eligible public costs are reimbursed by federal taxpayers at 75%. For disasters after October 23, 2014, the State of Vermont will contribute an additional 7.5% toward the costs. For communities that take specific steps to reduce flood damage the State will contribute 12.5% or 17.5% of the total cost.

    The Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund (VDRF) was established and is managed by an independent, non-profit organization, the Vermont Long-Term Recovery Group (VTLRG).

    No gifts to The Vermont Community Foundation shall directly or indirectly subject the Vermont Community Foundation to a prohibited material restriction as defined by federal law. All gifts are subject to a federally required amendment or variance power that permits the Vermont Community Foundation to vary from the terms and conditions of agreements with donors relative to the purpose, investment, and management of its funds subject to the procedural requirements of Vermont state law. In practice, the Foundation uses this variance power rarely and only if the needs of the community have shifted. The Foundation will be in communication with donors should such a shift occur. (Shell game covered in legalese – genious!)