Friday, May 31, 2013


Volunteers to perform damage assessment and provide client casework

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE(Jericho/Underhill, VT – May 31, 2013)  A week ago, heavy rains and flash flooding struck several Vermont towns, perhaps none as hard as the communities of Jericho and Underhill.  While a few affected families have reached out to the Red Cross for assistance, the anecdotal reports of damage would suggest that greater need remains to be addressed.  Tomorrow, the Red Cross is sending three teams of volunteers to Jericho and Underhill to conduct damage assessment and provide client casework services as needed.

 Volunteers working out of the Underhill Town Clerk’s office at 12 Pleasant Valley Road as their base of operation for the day’s work will be supported by three teams going directly into the field.  The damage assessment data will help inform the Red Cross as to what additional supports may be needed in the affected communities.  Members of these volunteer teams will also provide client casework services as necessary, sharing information as to how the Red Cross may be able to support recovery and offering information about other resources that may be available to help a family through the recovery process.

WHO:       American Red Cross

WHAT:     Damage Assessment and Support to Communities Impacted by Recent Flooding

WHEN:     Saturday, June 1st, 9am – 5pm

WHERE:   Jericho and Underhill Vermont

HOW:       3 Mobile Teams and an Operations Headquarters at the Underhill Town Clerk’s Office  (12 Pleasant Valley Road, Underhill).  Community members in need can look for our mobile teams, go to the Underhill Town Clerk’s Office or contact a temporary hotline (tomorrow only) of (802) 355-1209.

While the focal point of the mobile teams will be Jericho and Underhill, members of surrounding communities impacted by last week’s flooding can stop by the Underhill Town Clerk’s Office between 9am and 5pm or call our temporary help line (tomorrow only) at (802) 355-1209.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moore, OK tornado and other recent storms create need

The American Red Cross is working around the clock to provide food and shelter to all of those whose lives have been affected by the deadly tornado in Moore, OK, as well as other tornadoes and storms over the past several days in Texas, Kansas and other parts of Oklahoma.  Shelters, food, supplies and other resources have been, and will continue to be, brought to bear.

Key Red Cross Activities in Affected Areas:

  • Shelters are open and emergency aid stations will be open where people can get food and snacks, mental health and health care services and information about what help is available.
  • More workers, supplies and equipment are on the way to help the people of Oklahoma. Almost 30 emergency response vehicles are enroute to distribute food, water and relief supplies to people in need.
  • The Red Cross is working with the Southern Baptist Convention, a frequent disaster relief partner, who is making two kitchens available with the ability to make tens of thousands of meals a day. The Red Cross also has kitchen support and relief supply trailers on the way to help those forced from their homes.
  •  Red Cross disaster mental health workers are available to help people cope with the aftermath.
  • We also are operating shelters and supporting people affected by Sunday’s storms in Shawnee and other parts of the Oklahoma City area.
  • The Red Cross will be on the ground in these affected areas for the foreseeable future to help people get back on their feet.
Activities in our Region:

  • For those who are looking to support the relief operations in Moore, OK and other areas hard hit by tornadoes over the past few days, donations can be made at, by texting REDCROSS to 90999, or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
  • Red Cross volunteers across the country, including our own region, have been asked to update their availability status so that this information is known as additional resources are mobilized in the coming days.
  • Our experience is that after a large disaster, many people have the impulse to learn more about how they can volunteer.  Throughout the region, over the next two weeks, we are offering a class entitled “Disaster Services:  An Overview.”  This introductory class is the first step in becoming a Red Cross volunteer.  It runs 3 hours and is being offered on the following dates and locations:
    • Burlington, VT – May 28th at 6pm – 29 Mansfield Avenue (Red Cross office)
    • Rutland, VT – June 3rd at 6pm – 117 Strongs Avenue (Red Cross office)
    • Brattleboro, VT – June 4th at 6pm – 81 High Street St. (Red Cross office)
    • Bennington, VT – June 4th at 6pm – 120 McKinley Street (Bennington Rescue)
To sign up for these classes, go to and click on “Volunteer.” 
Reconnecting with Friends and Loved Ones:
The Red Cross “Safe and Well” website is active, helping to reconnect people with loved ones in the storm affected areas.  To access Safe and Well, visit  Once at that site, you can click on “Search Registrants” to see if your friend or loved one has registered.  Disaster victims can also update their Facebook and Twitter status through the Safe and Well website.
Coping with Disaster: 

In addition to bringing mental health resources to bear in Oklahoma for victims of recent tornadoes, the American Red Cross knows that those far from the scene of a disaster can be impacted emotionally.  The following tips may be helpful to consider as we continue to hear the news of devastation: 

  • People may be experiencing a variety of difficult feelings and thoughts – fear, anger, confusion, shock, disbelief, sadness and grief. These are all normal feelings associated with experiencing a disaster like this.
  • Reacting to a disaster like this can affect not only how someone feels, but the way they think and what they think about, their sleep, their daily lives and the way they interact with others. Children and the elderly are especially at risk.
  • People should try to limit their exposure to the disaster.
  • They should reach out and accept help from others and stay connected with family and other support systems.
  • Allow children to feel upset and encourage them to express their feelings and thoughts.
  • Return to a daily routine as much as possible.
Red Cross and the blood supply: 
·    The Red Cross stands ready to help meet the blood needs of patients in and around Oklahoma City if needed. There is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet patient demands.
·    Type O negative blood is often used during emergencies, when there is no time to determine the patient’s blood type. A situation like this highlights the importance of already having enough type O negative blood on hand at a moment’s notice. We encourage eligible donors with O negative blood to make a blood donation appointment as soon as they are able.
·    The Red Cross has the ability to move blood around the country to where it is needed most during shortages, or in times of natural or man-made disasters. Through its national inventory system, the Red Cross is able to support the shipment of blood and blood products wherever and whenever they are needed.
·    We depend on generous volunteer blood donors to provide lifesaving blood for those in need – each and every day – not only during times of national disaster.  Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit to make an appointment.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Texas Tornadoes -- Red Cross Supporting Response and Recovery

Since the storms passed Wednesday night and even into Thursday afternoon, the American Red Cross has been working to open shelters, assess damage and plan for the days and weeks ahead in more than five counties across Texas. Thanks to generous supporters like you, we have been able to shelter dozens of people in two Red Cross emergency shelters, serve nearly 1,400 meals and snacks, and mobilize nearly 100 trained disaster responders to support relief efforts caused by the 12 tornadoes now reported. Five emergency response vehicles circulated the affected counties, handing out needed items and providing health and emotional support.

The Red Cross has established a Disaster Assistance Hotline for anyone across Texas who has sustained damage to their homes as a result of last night’s storms. Affected residents are urged to call 866-505-4801.

Red Cross teams have spent the bulk of the last two days assessing damage across the area. In the Ranch Brazos community in Hood County, teams discovered that nearly 100 homes were affected with more than half of them being destroyed or unlivable for an extended amount of time. An additional 130 homes across the North Texas area have damage of some nature, but teams are still working on the damage breakdowns. These assessments assist the Red Cross in determining where the need is greatest.

The Red Cross is also working with community partners such as Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Islamic Relief USA, and the Southern Baptist Convention to ensure that families get what they need to help. Red Cross caseworkers are also on hand to point those impacted toward recovery resources.  

The Red Cross is planning to distribute thousands of needed relief items for clean-up over the weekend. Relief items can include things like shovels, rakes, work gloves, trash bags and more. Areas will be established in impacted neighborhoods so that residents can pick up their supplies near their homes.

With the threat of more severe storms across Texas, the Plains and the Midwest over the weekend, the Red Cross continues to prepare and be ready for what’s to come.

Red Cross' Anita Foster public affairs, discusses the damage assessment survey with Ray Fishencord (left) and Alan Sloan (right) Nearly 100 homes were impacted in this neighborhood.