Monday, March 26, 2012

Disaster Response -- Preparedness Planning and In Practice

This past weekend was a busy one for Red Cross disaster services in our region. Activities included both response and preparedness work.

A family in Wilder, VT was in need of Red Cross assistance after a kitchen fire caused enough damage, including smoke and water, that they could not immediately return home. With a few nights lodging provided, and some assistance for food and clothing, the mother, father and daughter received much needed support as they begin their recovery process. The helping hand was extended to this family through the work of our local disaster action team volunteers.

Meanwhile, disaster action team members in Chittenden County were on scene at a Burlington apartment fire, lending needed support to firefighters with rehabilitative services. The food and hydration offered were, as always, a welcome relief to first responders who are often working in difficult circumstances.

This weekend's disaster activities also included a bi-monthly meeting of the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley's Regional Disaster Coordination Team. These gatherings serve as an opportunity for staff and volunteer disaster leadership to review and plan our disaster services response activities. While no two events are alike, and the timing of when a disaster will strike is beyond our control, there is much that can be achieved through working to coordinate our response efforts in advance of an incident. Having this group come together provides invaluable opportunities to keep updated as to the many activities taking place in our constant efort to bring preparedness to ever increasing levels.