Vermonters eager to assist with flood recovery efforts can volunteer, make monetary donations, or donate blood.
Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison emphasized the importance of focusing on hyper-local volunteerism during a recent news conference on Tuesday, as many communities in Vermont are still unsafe for large-scale volunteer operations.
Morrison urged residents to check on their neighbors and offer assistance to the most vulnerable members of their communities.
While all Vermonters will eventually be called upon to contribute to the recovery, preparations are underway for organized volunteer efforts in the coming days. Those interested in volunteering can sign up at vermont.gov/volunteer, where they will receive specific instructions on when and where they can participate.
Morrison emphasized the need for volunteers to wait for a designated assignment before deploying. She cautioned against spontaneous actions that could jeopardize their safety, urging individuals not to become someone in need of rescue.
For those wishing to assist in Montpelier, the organization Montpelier Alive has created a volunteer signup form. Volunteers will be contacted when it is safe to provide their support.
State officials advised all Vermonters to avoid damaged and flooded areas, emphasizing the dangers of driving across flooded roads or around road closure signs.
Specialized crews are actively engaged in search and rescue operations, establishing shelters, and directing motorists away from hazardous locations.
In addition to volunteer work, monetary donations are crucial for statewide disaster relief. The Vermont Community Foundation has launched the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023 to coordinate philanthropic efforts. The fund aims to provide grants to affected small businesses.
The American Red Cross of Northern New England is also actively managing emergency shelters and offering immediate relief, making them a worthy recipient of donations. Local United Way branches are also accepting contributions.
While many people may be eager to donate items, the Red Cross is currently only accepting monetary donations.
The Red Cross is facing a potential blood shortage due to the floods, as they may not be able to collect around 500 pints of blood. Individuals able to donate blood are encouraged to sign up at redcross.org to help meet the ongoing demand.
This article will be updated to provide the latest information.