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Vermont Disaster Relief Fund allocates $1.5 million to Vermont families

Hundreds more survivors still in need of assistance
The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund (VDRF) has allocated over $1.5 million in direct assistance so far to over 100 Vermont families in their recovery from Irene and the spring floods in 2011, the Fund's Board announced August 1.

"It is nearly impossible to drive anywhere in this state and not see the impact the 2011 storms have had on Vermonters," Board Member Chris Graff said. "The generosity of Vermonters continues to make a difference for so many. However, as we approach the anniversary of Irene, we still have Vermont families suffering who are truly in need of assistance. We call on all Vermonters to stay strong in their commitment, until everyone who suffered loss from these events has been given the resources they need to move forward. We are determined not to leave anyone behind."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates there may be as many as 700 more cases of survivors unable to complete their recovery without additional assistance, requiring as much as $10 million more in aid. VDRF has raised over $3.5 million to date through the generosity of Vermonters and Vermonters-in-heart.

VDRF is responsible for providing financial and resource-based needs to individuals through in-kind donations, volunteer resources and fundraising. VDRF funding is available to survivors who need assistance beyond what Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or insurance companies can provide. VDRF continues to provide support for Vermonters to help them get back into safe living situations after the devastating floods.

Funding from VDRF is intended to help bridge the gap of unmet needs in the long-term recovery process. The VDRF Allocations Committee hears cases twice a week from Vermonters with unmet needs.

Irene survivors have used VDRF funding to purchase replacement mobile homes, rebuild stick built houses, remediate mold, replace heating systems, and to meet many other rebuilding needs as the recovery continues.

One local benefactor of the Fund was a single mother with a young child living in Woodstock. The Fund provided $10,000 to repair her home. Before Irene, this mother, a part-time in-home day care provider, and was fully caught up with monthly financial obligations. Irene displaced her from her home for months causing her child to live with his grandparents. The house and garage sustained significant damage and the land around the house shifted and is causing ongoing concerns. Work on the property surrounding the house continues.

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Tagged: hurricane irene, Reflections