More than a year out from the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene, the lessons learned continue to play out across Vermont. One such lesson involves community sheltering capacity and the desire of the American Red Cross to increased local preparedness.
On April 10, Bridgewater will join the growing number of communities across Vermont working with the Red Cross to take the next step in emergency planning through a Red Cross Local Disaster Shelter Initiative.
More than 200 towns across Vermont were impacted by Tropical Storm Irene. Not even the American Red Cross, with its 12 Disaster Action Teams across our region, could be in that many communities at once. To enhance preparedness throughout Vermont and the Upper Valley of New Hampshire, the American Red Cross created the Local Disaster Shelter Initiative.
Bridgewater has decided to participate in this initiative and on April 10 at 6 p.m. the town will host the American Red Cross, which will provide a three-hour training session. It is at this training that interested residents will become familiar with the equipment being provided by the Red Cross to stock the local shelter (cots, blankets, emergency radios, emergency lighting, signage, vests and water) and will receive the training necessary to open and manage the shelter until additional outside assistance can arrive.
Those interested in volunteering for this initiative and participating in the April 10 training from 6 to 8:30 p.m. should contact Lisa Olmstead at 672-5118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.