Media Contact: Jennifer Costa
(802) 556-2171 | Jennifer.email@example.com
RUTLAND, Vt., JULY 11, 2023 — The American Red Cross opens a second regional disaster shelter in Rutland at Rutland High School (22 Stratton Rd.). The shelter opened today at 9:30 a.m. This shelter will be managed by the Red Cross – and pets are welcome. The Red Cross continues to work closely with local and state emergency management and government officials to navigate disaster relief efforts following widespread severe flooding throughout the state.
The Red Cross shelter at the Barre City Auditorium (16 Auditorium Hill, Barre) remains open and currently has a population of more than 200 people. The Red Cross is partnering with the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) to welcome and manage pets at that shelter. The Barre shelter opened yesterday at 3 p.m.
Significant rainfall over the last 24 hours, along with saturated ground and full rivers and lakes, has caused serious and potentially life-threatening flooding in several parts of Vermont. Right now, more than 7,000 people are without power and dozens of roads remain closed throughout the state.
Individuals evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of their family, including:
- Prescription and emergency medications
- Foods that meet special dietary requirements
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Chargers for any electronic devices
- Books, games and other forms of entertainment
For help or for additional information, dial 2-1-1.
The Red Cross wants to remind Vermonters: “Turn around, don’t drown.” Never walk, swim, or drive through floodwater. Just 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you over – and 12 inches can carry your vehicle away.
- If you evacuated, wait for officials to say it is safe before going home.
- Avoid fallen power lines, poles, and wires. They can electrocute you.
- Watch out for falling trees and other debris.
- Use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns, rather than candles, to reduce fire risk.
- Many injuries happen during cleanup. Wear protective equipment, like boots, long pants, work gloves, eyewear, and an N95 respirator to protect your lungs. Follow the advice of local public health officials.
This significant flooding event is impacting Red Cross blood collection efforts as well. One of Vermont’s largest blood drives, the Mini Gift of Life Marathon in memory of Peter Giancola, is scheduled for today. The collection site at Noel’s at the Franklin Event Center will go on as scheduled, but the drive at the Elk’s Lodge has been cancelled. The Red Cross has notified donors whose appointments have been impacted by this change and are working diligently to get these appointments rescheduled at a later date. It is estimated that this flooding event will result in approximately 500 pints of lifesaving blood going uncollected and about a dozen drive cancellations. This storm comes at a time when the Red Cross is sending blood donations to hospitals faster than they are coming in. The Red Cross is asking donors who live in unaffected areas to schedule and keep your upcoming appointments to help prevent a summer blood shortage.
By scheduling and keeping appointments in July, donors can help provide for those in immediate need of lifesaving care. To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
All Red Cross assistance is provided free of charge and made possible by the generosity of the public. To donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief and help people affected by disasters big and small, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. To become a Red Cross volunteer visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.