(South Burlington, Vermont – May 9, 2011) Being forced from their homes due to fire was not how two families in a two-unit apartment building in South Burlington intended to mark Mother’s Day. The call came in to the Northern Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross early Sunday afternoon that there was a fire on Southview Drive, impacting both apartments in the structure. The Chapter’s Chittenden County Disaster Action Team responded, interviewing family members from the apartments.
Disaster Action Team members are trained in client casework, among other skills, and interview those impacted by fire or other disaster to assess their emergency needs. The mother and her two children that lived on the ground floor were in need of emergency shelter and lodging was arranged at a local motel. The family on the second floor had made alternate arrangements.
In the face of the recent flooding and the assistance provided to over 200 people by Disaster Action Teams across Northern Vermont, it was easy to forget that the majority of the disaster services provided each year by the Red Cross in our region are in response to house fires. Disaster services volunteers are located throughout the region and are trained to provide disaster relief and emotional comfort. They are available to respond at any time, day or night, to disasters in their communities or surrounding towns. The Red Cross primarily assists with emergency shelter, food, clothing, medical and disaster mental health services where a verified need exists and will support the families further by providing referrals to other community support resources.
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, 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 Services in the memo of your check.