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FEMA in Montpelier

FEMA’s team of preservation specialists demonstrated how to save family treasures at its disaster recovery center on the VCFA campus last week. They will be coming back to both the Montpelier recovery center and the Barre Auditorium Aug. 21 through 24. From left, Liz Peirce, Library of Congress; Kimberly Inegbe, FEMA Office of Economic Historic Preservation; and Javier Cantu, FEMA Office of Economic Historic Preservation. Photo courtesy of FEMA.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) hosted a presentation about how to salvage storm-damaged family photos, artwork, textiles, media, and other family treasures at its Montpelier disaster recovery center at the Vermont College of Fine Arts last week. 

Preservation specialists will be at the VCFA site again this week Aug. 21 through 24, according to a FEMA press release. They’ll be providing the same information at the Barre Auditorium disaster recovery site, and other locations, including the Vermont State Fair in Rutland. 

“These FEMA and Library of Congress ‘Save Your Family’s Treasures’ preservation teams will demonstrate how to safely handle and salvage your damaged items, using techniques taught by Heritage Emergency National Task Force conservation experts,” the release said.

Montpelier has joined a growing list of sites where FEMA has set up a disaster recovery center.

The center offers space where those affected by the recent flood “can get one-on-one assistance with an expert who can upload documents, give you next steps, info about how to protect home in future, schedule an inspection, [and more],” said Rebecca Kelly, a FEMA media relations specialist. 

Kelly pointed to the advantage of being able to have an in-person conversation with a FEMA representative and get assistance from some of the partner organizations that are also available at the disaster recovery centers. At the VCFA site, the Red Cross, the United Way, and the Small Business Administration are all there as well, she said.

People can also apply for assistance online at disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 800-621-3362, Kelly said.