University of Vermont

Tropical Storm Irene Recovery Effort


UVM for Vermont

The UVM Community has been involved in Irene relief efforts in a variety of ways. Congratulations and thank you to all who have taken action in the aftermath of the disaster. 

Here are a few examples of how UVM has been involved so far:

Two current UVM students, a recent UVM alum, and a Champlain College student started VTResponse, a website that became one of the principal go-to sites for matching volunteers with Irene victims in need of help.

A planning group with representatives from across campus convened regularrly immediately after the flooding to coordinate the University's response.

Over $11,000 in dontions has been raised from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees for those affected by Irene.

UVM Extension has been very active in every region of Vermont that was affected by the flood. Extension faculty and staff assessed farm damage and needs, provided assistance from delivering emergency feed and bedding, vaccinating animals, field clean-up, finding volunteers, and developing fact sheets on handling flooded corn and silage. They continue to provide free mycotoxin testing and follow-up crop and financial planning support.

UVM sponsered three days of service for Irene relief. For each of these days the volunteers were provided with project placement, transportation, and box lunches. On Saturday, October 22 over 80 students, faculty, and staff members participated in VT Clean Up Day. The volunteers were sent to projects in Bethel, West Woodstock, and Rochester where they spent the day pitching in with locals to get Vermont ready for winter.On Saturday, November 12 over 40 students, faculty, and staff members went to Rutland where they helped the local Salvation Army organize its temporary location and pitched-in with the annual Stuff-A-Bus event. Volunteers helped sort and organize 25,000 lbs of non-perishable food items. On Wednesday, November 16 over 30 students, faculty, and staff members got involved with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and ReSource Center.

On October 25th approximately 20 UVM faculty and researchers met around post-flooding research opportunities. The CUPS office organized the event to facilitate collabortion and brainstorming. A website database of on-going research and funding resources is in the works.

Many UVM employees have taken advantage of the policy that allowed them to take up to two paid dys off to do volunteering related to Irene relief.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences helped out in a number of ways. Working in conjunction with UVM Extension, the Agricultural Testing Lab in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences has provided free testing of soil samples for heavy metals and soil fertility for farms hit by the storm. The departments of Plant Biology, Plant and Soil Sciences, and Animal Science have provided laboratory space to scientists and technicians from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation whose Waterbury labs were flooded. In all, 32 scientists and technicians have relocated to UVM for the next six to nine months. The space is being provided at no cost.
Twenty-six students in a newly-created UVM service learning class spent Fridays and Saturdays during the first seven weeks of the semester volunteering in communities hit by Irene. Students in the course, called Rebuilding Vermont: Community Engagement in Disaster Preparation and Relief, also do related readings, reflect on their experiences, and hear from various experts in disaster response with the goal of learning how to effectively and sensitively respond to disasters in the future.
In light of the financial challenges the State is experiencing, UVM will not be making a capital funding request from the state for next year.

Ninety-five UVM athletes did volunteer work in six communities hard hit by Irene in southern and central Vermont on Sat., Sept. 15. Activities ranged from doing river clean-up in Rochester and Waitsfield to picking up debris, rocks, and gravel and removing mud at a farm in Moretown to clearing out a hard hit apartment building in Moretown Village.

UVM offered the Vermont State Colleges assistance in meeting technology challenges created by Irene.

UVM's Enterprise Technology Services department provided 33 208V server power cords on Monday, Aug. 29 to the Vermont Agency of Human Services and the Department of Public Safety. Their shared data center in Waterbury flooded, and they needed power cords to set up in a new location.

Fifteen brothers of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity traveled to Waterbury on Sept. 3 and helped a member of the Cochran's ski area family clean up and get rid of damaged or ruined property in a small ski shop, where he donated equipment and instruction to the local community.

Twenty members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority spent a day in sister Emily Durfee's hometown of Bethel doing clean-up work.

Kappa Sigmas held a 9/11 Candlelight Remembrance Vigil. The event was also a fundraiser- the group donated over $350 and 75 cans of food to the Vermont Food Bank.

Last modified November 28 2011 11:02 AM

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