Local Red Cross Sees Spike in Need for Disaster Services

In fact, last year, the rate at which Red Cross assistance was requested was 65% higher November through April than it was May through October.

Bennington Fire is 5th Response in 5 Days -- Surge Matches Past Pattern

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE… (Bennington, Vermont – December 2, 2013) When winter sets in and temperatures dip, American Red Cross volunteers can assume they are going to get a lot busier. The past few days have certainly confirmed that assumption. With an overnight fire on South Street in Bennington, Red Cross volunteers have now responded to five fires across our region in the past five days. This spate of fires is in line with past patterns in which the Red Cross sees a significant bump in the need for its services this time of year.

With regard to this morning’s fire, volunteers with our Bennington-based Disaster Action Team have made arrangements for temporary lodging for the two South Street residents who were forced from their home. Assistance to replace food and clothing lost in the fire was also provided. This type of support mirrors what has been provided to individuals and families impacted by fires in Derby, West Rutland, St. Johnsbury and North Bennington over the past five days.

The number of responses by the Red Cross in the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley Region was 179 this past year, a 70% increase from the number of requests for Red Cross assistance just four years ago. Ninety percent of requests relate to house and apartment fires, with the number of calls spiking in the colder months. In fact, last year, the rate at which Red Cross assistance was requested was 65% higher November through April than it was May through October.

While the circumstance of each person or family may be different, the people of our region know that they can count on the fact that compassionate and dedicated Red Cross volunteers will be at their side to help them through a difficult time. This work is accomplished by 12 Disaster Action Teams spread throughout Vermont and New Hampshire’s Upper Valley. Each team is comprised of volunteers who give of themselves to ensure that help is available when it is needed most.

All emergency assistance is provided by Red Cross volunteers without charge to those impacted by disaster. To fund this assistance, as well as the training and tools required of our volunteers to maintain readiness, the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley American Red Cross relies upon donations made by members of the community.

To help people affected by fires as well as other devastating disasters, a donation can be made to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit www.redcross.org, call 802-660-9130, ext. 111, text REDCROSS to 90999, or mail your contribution to American Red Cross, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.