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Blog: Governor Shumlin, All Recovery is Local

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Transcripts of Governor Shumlin All Recovery is Local.

Well you know The President of the United States called me, President Obama, literally hours after the storm. And he said, I've heard about what's happening up there tell me more. And he happened to call at a time when I had figured out having surveyed the damage that this thing was much bigger than what Vermont was able to respond to.

The bottom line is he unleashed every Secretary and Cabinet member in his Cabinet. He said we'll do whatever it takes Governor to help you in your time of need. And he sent in FEMA and FEMA came in here and worked together with our communities in a response to a disaster that frankly we were ill equipped to deal with. They helped us to get people into the communities to help us coordinate our emergency management. And to bring resources from food and blankets and coordination with National Guard and all the people who help in these crisis. That I had no experience as a Governor dealing with. So extraordinarily helpful. And extraordinarily critical to getting us back on our feet.

To me I think a whole community recovery means that we have a community that's more resilient to storms, but also is better organized to deal with storms in the future. Well the long term recovery conversations and community efforts really is an example where FEMA has the experience to come and say to a state like Vermont hey this has worked in the past. And we think it could be applied to Vermont by your community based local government by volunteers that want to keep the rebuilding happening.

Basically what its allowed us to do is enter into a dialog with communities with our regional planning commissions with our local select boards with our mayors where we have them and with our volunteer base to ensure that we are tailoring a recovery package for that community that make sense for them. And that's really important. And I think the partnership with FEMA and with federal government has allowed us to use the resources that we so badly needed from the federal government, dollars that Vermont just doesn't have, and spend them in a way that will enable us to be smarter about building infrastructure that doesn't just get wiped out every time we get a major storm.

The way we're doing that is not by going into local communities and saying, hey we're here from the government and we've got all the answers and you do what we say. Instead we put together with FEMAs help partnerships where we are going into communities and asking these questions.

How do we continue the spirit of cooperation between federal government, state government local community government and volunteers that will allow communities to have the resources that they need to rebuild smarter better and more prepared for the future.

All recovery is local. If you try to dictate it, it won't work. We've learned that over the years. And I think its a partnership that's really going to be very successful.


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