Disaster services volunteers with the Vermont and New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross have responded to people in need at a rate 20 percent higher this year than last.
Agency officials say they average just over 100 local responses in a year. With close to four months remaining this fiscal year, volunteers have already been called upon more than 90 times.
The latest call for assistance was Wednesday night, when a fire in Montpelier forced four families from their home. The Red Cross helped them with temporary lodging at a hotel and financial assistance for food and clothing.