Monday, August 29, 2011

National Guard Helps Deliver Aid to Communities; Florida Red Cross Brings in Supplies

With several communities cut off, and only accessible by high water vehicles, the National Guard is assisting Red Cross efforts to get in food and water. Guard members arrived at the Red Cross office in Rutland and headed out to Cavendish and Wilmington. Additional collaboration will continue.

In an unusual if not ironic twist, Florida Red Crossers arrived with two Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) today with additional supplies. Pictured above is an ERV from Daytona Beach. Also in Rutland is an ERV from Jacksonville. On board the ERVs were shelf-stable meals, water and snacks. While volunteers from the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley have responded to hurricanes in Florida and across the south, we are fairly confident that it is the first time Florida has had the occasion to pitch in as part of a hurricane response in Vermont.

329 Sheltered Overnight, 4 Shelters Remain Open

After having as many as 13 shelters opened yesterday, as people return home 4 shelters remain open as of noon Monday. While the official count as of midnight was 329 people having received overnight sheltering through the Red Cross, several shelters saw their numbers continue to swell before dawn.

Shelters remain open at the following locations:

1. Brattleboro – Brattleboro Union High School
2. Hartford – Hartford High School
3. Barre – Barre Auditorium
4. Rutland – Rutland High School

The best means of determining where shelters, Red Cross or otherwise, are open is to contact Vermont 211.

At this time, financial contributions provide the greatest flexibility for a Red Cross response. Donations can be made at or by calling 800-660-9130. For those who are interested in volunteering, they can register on line at: or contact us at 1-800-660-9130, ext. 107.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stage set for 8 shelters to open in response to Irene

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE … (Rutland, Vermont – August 27, 2011) With Hurricane Irene heading north and anticipated to make landfall in New England overnight, the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross has announced that they will open 8 shelters.

In Brattleboro, the shelter is opening at 6pm this evening to ensure the safe transfer of seniors from a low-lying housing complex. In anticipation of potential flooding, high winds and power outages tomorrow, at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning, the Red Cross will open 7 additional shelters. The shelter locations are as follows:

Opening 6:00 p.m. today (8/27/11):
1. Brattleboro, VT – Brattleboro Union High School – Fairground Road
Opening 9:00 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday, 8/28/11)
2. Bennington, VT – Mt. Anthony Union Middle School – 747 East Road
3. Springfield, VT – Springfield High School -- 303 South Street
4. Hartford, VT – Hartford High School – 37 Highland Avenue
5. Rutland, VT – Rutland High School – 22 Stratton Road
6. Barre, VT – Barre Auditorium
7. St. Johnsbury, VT – The St. Johnsbury School – 257 Western Avenue
8. St. Albans, VT – St. Albans Town Education Center – 169 South Main Street

These shelters are part of a network of over 300 locations across the region with whom the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross has agreements for potential use during times of disaster. While a hurricane cannot be prevented, the Red Cross knows that steps can be taken to prepare. At the shelters being opened tomorrow, the Red Cross will have the capacity to shelter and feed those that may be displaced by the storm.

As the storm track and impact becomes further defined, an assessment can be made as to resources that need to be shifted to different locations or consolidated in shelter locations that are part of tomorrow’s planned opening.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Safety Checklist

As the prospect of a hurricane coming into New England looks like a real possibility, many are asking what steps can be taken to prepare. To access a Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist, please visit our webpage at

At the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross, we too are working to prepare. This includes connecting with our disaster services volunteers to check on availability, checking in with a number of the facilities we use as shelters, and assessing what equipment and assets may be needed. Last night, Chief Response Officer Tim Stetson was interviewed by WPTZ-TV. Click here to see that story:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bennington Disaster Action Team Raises Awareness

This past weekend was a busy one for members of the Bennington Disaster Action (DAT) team. Fortunately, it wasn't flooding or late night fires that kept them on the move. This weekend was an opportunity for civic pride and raising awareness of Red Cross activities in Southern Vermont.

DAT members participated in the Shaftsbury parade, marking the town's 250th anniversary; set up a table at festivities surrouding Bennington Battle Day; and also made an appearance at the Bennington Irish Music Festival.

To see photos of DAT members Robin Greene, Diane Hart and Rob Cole, and to learn more about how they participated in these events, click on the following link to the online publication

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a disaster services volunteer with the American Red Cross in Vermont or New Hampshire's Upper Valley, contact Angela Russell at 800-660-9130, ext. 107 or by e-mailing her at