SBA customer service representative Patrick Doyle helps two Hancock residents who had flood damage fill out an emergency home loan.
FEMA’s mobile disaster assistance team rolled into Hancock Oct. 4 for a few days. The mobile team, which includes a Small Business Administration customer service representative, set up operations in Hancock Town Hall. The mobile center will stay in Hancock until 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Chris Pettit, FEMA manager, said his team was there to provide assistance to those Addison County residents, living along the remote Route 100 corridor, who experienced flood damage Aug. 28.
Some of Pettit’s team members have been in Vermont long before Tropical Storm Irene hit; in fact, the communications specialists have been here since the spring flooding crisis.
“It is not necessary for Vermonters affected by Tropical Storm Irene to visit a center in order to receive disaster assistance. In fact, people with storm-related losses are encouraged to register with FEMA before visiting a center,” Pettit said.
Pettit also said disaster assistance comes in many forms.
In the case of SBA customer service representative Patrick Doyle, he’s there to provide low interest loans to business and home owners.
“Many people think the SBA provides emergency loans just to business,” Doyle said. “We can help owners of businesses and homes.”
The experience of a flood victim walking in cold to a FEMA mobile emergency center is made as painless as possible.
“You come in, sit down at one of our telephones and quickly set up an account,” Pettit said. “That information is immediately used to create a database that appears on your computers immediately. Next you sit down with one of our reps and we get the ball rolling.”
Help can come in many ways.
Survivors must meet with a FEMA person to learn how the agency can help.
“We’re here to help,” said Pettit. “That’s why we’re in business.”
Regarding Vermont’s fixed-site disaster recovery centers, they will now be open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Friday, Oct. 7, Pettit said. In addition all centers will be closed Monday, Oct. 10, in observance of Columbus Day.
If you need help, register by calling toll-free 800-621-FEMA 3362, online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Locations for the fixed-site centers are shown below.
Note: Six of the 11 centers will be closing this week.
Municipal Office Building
119 Park Ave.
Okemo Market Place
Between Cool Moose and Dark Side Snowboard Shop
57 Pond St., Suite 4
Rutland Heart Center
1 Commons St.
Dover Town Hall
120 Taft Brook Rd.
Waterbury Fire Department
43 South Main St.
The following two centers will close at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5
U.S. Post Office (Upstairs)
2046 Route 4
Northfield Library (Community Room)
93 South Main St.
The following two centers will close at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6:
Bennington Fire Department
130 River St.
Hartford Fire Department
812 VA Cutoff Rd.
White River Junction 05001
The mobile disaster recovery center vehicle is open this week in Hancock and South Royalton. It is equipped with phone and computer connectivity. The following is the vehicle's schedule of visits to Vermont communities:
Hancock Town Hall
1097 Route 100
Opening noon - 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3;
8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4; and 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5
South Royalton Journey Church
412 S. Windsor St.,
South Royalton 05068
Opening noon-6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6;
8 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7; and 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8