Friday, September 3, 2010

News Release - Local Red Cross Anticipates Earl: Assesses Local Needs, Provides Volunteer Support to New England Neighbors

(Burlington, Vermont – September 3, 2010) With Hurricane Earl approaching New England, Disaster Services staff and volunteers with the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross are working hard to plan and respond. A hurricane cannot be prevented, but the Red Cross knows that steps can be taken to prepare. Hurricanes are unpredictable and in case of a westerly turn; the Red Cross here in the Vermont and New Hampshire Valley wants to be sure that they are ready for whatever comes their way. Plans are being reviewed and contingencies are being considered. This includes marshalling all available Red Cross disaster services volunteers, looking at the options for potential shelter locations and ensuring supplies and resources are where they need to be.

Local volunteers are on alert should their services be needed in Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley and one local Red Cross volunteer has deployed to the area expected to be at the heart of Hurricane Earl. Janet Ducharme of Lebanon, NH headed out this morning for a Red Cross Disaster Relief Operation Headquarters in Warwick, Rhode Island. Ms. Ducharme is prepared to put her training in disaster assessment into action in southern New England as Red Cross chapters throughout the Northeast bring their resources to bear on the affected areas.

“Janet’s work is a great example of Red Crossers and their commitment to supporting people in need whether it is right here at home or in a state next door,” said Tim Stetson, Chief Response Officer for the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley Region of the American Red Cross. He added, “Janet is just one of many volunteers in our region who spend most of their time responding to the needs of their neighbors in their hour of greatest need, whether a single family fire, flood or other local disaster. This national assignment is simply an extension of that training and commitment.”

The American Red Cross is on the ground in fourteen states along the East Coast with shelters poised to be opened in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in conjunction with emergency planning that continues in 12 other states along the coast. The Red Cross recommends three steps to take now to be prepared for disasters like Hurricane Earl – build a kit, make a plan and be informed.

The mission of the American Red Cross in Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley is to provide relief to victims of disasters and help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross also teaches children and adults how to save lives through first aid, CPR and AED training, water safety instruction, and community safety education.

All emergency assistance provided by the American Red Cross is provided free of charge and made possible by donations from fellow community members. To help the victims of this and other disasters, contributions can be made to the American Red Cross by logging onto the web site – or by sending a contribution to the American Red Cross, Disaster Relief Fund, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401-3323. Please specify Disaster Services in the memo of your check.