(February 15, 2011) Fire, local emergency response and then a call to the American Red Cross. This is the chain of events that has repeated itself over and over again this winter. The latest call for Red Cross assistance was at 4:00 a.m. this morning, when members of the Orleans County Disaster Action Team, part of a network of volunteer responders with the Northern Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross, went to the scene of a fire in Irasburg, VT. Once there, the Red Cross disaster services volunteers met with the 2 people displaced by the fire to assess their immediate, emergency needs. The 2 were helped with food, clothing and lodging. Assistance was also provided to emergency responders in the form of food and beverage.
The Irasburg fire was the third such response over the past 24 hours for the 3 chapters that comprise the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. Yesterday afternoon, members of the Central Vermont/New Hampshire Valley’s Upper Valley Disaster Action Team responded to a call for assistance for a family of 5 displaced after a barn fire spread to a home in Royalton, VT. That family also received assistance with food, clothing and lodging. While such assistance is what is most commonly provided, the Red Cross also can also provide medical and disaster mental health services and supports families and individuals further by providing referrals to other community support resources.
The first of the most recent three fires was the fire in Lunenburg, which was the subject of a release yesterday morning. A recent review of the responses for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross showed that this winter has seen its Disaster Action Teams called into service at a rate of 30% more than for the same period last year.
The assistance given by the Red Cross Disaster Action Teams is provided free of charge and made possible by donations from fellow community members. To help the victims of these and other disasters, donations can be made to the American Red Cross by sending a contribution to the American Red Cross, Northern Vermont Chapter, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401-3323. Please specify Disaster Relief in the memo of your check.