One year after Tropical Storm Irene, the Red Cross has launched a program designed to help towns and individuals prepare for emergencies when outside assistance is not available.
Larry Crist, regional executive director of the Red Cross of Vermont and New Hampshire Valley, says the initiative provides towns with equipment and training to open an emergency shelter "and operate that shelter when outside assistance can’t arrive for up to three day – to address exactly the issue that we experienced with Irene."
Tropical Storm Irene isolated thirteen towns in Vermont for several days. Now, Crist says all towns in Vermont are eligible to receive an emergency kit to prepare them for that scenario. The kit is durable and compact enough to fit in the back of a minivan.
"It consists of 25 cots, 50 blankets, emergency windup lighting, emergency windup radio, 10 cases of water, and largely the training to be able to open that shelter and run it in an independent fashion," Crist says.
The American Red Cross is paying for the cost of the equipment and training through a donation from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.