Red Cross Shelter Seeks Donations
On August 27, 2011, the Town of Pawlet celebrated its 250th Birthday. The next day, Hurricane Irene arrived with its driving rains and devastating flooding. The villages of Pawlet and West Pawlet were cut off from each other; a portion of Pawlet’s firehouse was damaged and there were minimal communications available to link the town’s highway crew, fire department volunteers and town officials. In the aftermath, an emergency planning meeting was held, and the consensus of Pawlet Town officials, Pawlet and West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department volunteers and attending residents determined that a Red Cross Emergency Shelter should be established to provide for future crisis housing needs. The West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department applied for and received approval to establish a Red Cross Shelter in 2011. Planning and training exercises were conducted, and the first unannounced emergency shelter volunteer drill was recently held.
The American Red Cross has provided the shelter with cots, blankets and basic emergency supplies, but additional needs must be met by public or private donations. Two critical items needed are an on-site AED defibrillator, approximately $2,000 plus training costs; and a multipurpose portacrib that is a combination bassinet, changing table and play yard costing between $250 to $300. There is also a need for a first aid kit; AED training materials; storage totes; emergency water, food and snacks; games, puzzles and books; and pet kennels/cages. Checks can be made out to: WPVFD Red Cross Emergency Shelter, PO Box 87, West Pawlet, Vt. 05775. Call Paul Turnley at 802-645-0955 or Dolores Luebke at 802-645-0109. Email information is available through firstname.lastname@example.org.