Red Cross Seeks Volunteers to Help Install Smoke Alarms During Sound the Alarm Event in Rutland, Vermont

145733 Home Fire National Installation Logo FINALS

The American Red Cross is seeking people to volunteer their time and help save lives at the Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event on Saturday, September 23rd at 8:30am.

“Sound the Alarm in Vermont is part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires,” said Kevin Mazuzan, Executive Director for the American Red Cross in Vermont. “This is a volunteer opportunity that has the potential to actually save someone’s life. Please join us and help Sound the Alarm by volunteering on September 23rd.”

If you are interested in volunteering to educate people about home fire safety and install free smoke alarms, you can sign up at to help Sound the Alarm.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

Across the country, the Campaign is making a difference. As of the beginning of July, the Red Cross and our partners across the country have saved nearly 260 lives; reached more than 858,000 through youth preparedness programs, and installed nearly 887,000 free smoke alarms. Here in New Hampshire and Vermont, the Red Cross has installed more than 5,000 free smoke alarms since the campaign began – one of which saved a man’s life in Portsmouth, NH last February.

To learn more about the Home Fire Campaign, visit Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.


Red Cross Offers 8 International Travel Safety Tips for Americans Traveling Outside the U.S.

Our New Hampshire / Vermont region of the American Red Cross happens to share a border with our neighbors to the north, Canada. Summer travel finds many of our residents escaping to the north to enjoy Canada’s sights and sounds.

July has traditionally been the most popular month for Americans to travel the globe. If past years are any indication, millions of US citizens will set off on a global adventure this month. Whether travelers are driving across a border, sailing along a coastline, or flying halfway around the world, the American Red Cross recommends the following tips to stay safe before and during your travels:

  1. Know which natural disasters are possible. There’s no reason to panic, but it’s important to research whether your destination faces emergencies you’ve never experienced. While you’ll need to gauge the local context, the Red Cross offers basic tips about what to do during natural disasters like tsunamis, volcanoes and hurricanes.
  2. Pack your International Certificate of Vaccination. Also referred to as the “yellow card,” it lists your immunizations, allergies and blood type. The “yellow card” is available from your physician or local health department.
  3. Keep your destination country’s emergency numbers handy. You know to use 9-1-1 in the United States, but how will you reach the fire department, police or an ambulance abroad? Find your destination country on this reference sheet from the US State Department—and write down the emergency numbers before you take off.
  4. Download the Red Cross First Aid App. This app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Be sure to download the app at org/apps while you’re still in the U.S., so you can access the content even if you don’t have phone service. If you have a firm handle on a foreign language, search for the local Red Cross or Red Crescent’s mobile apps while abroad.
  5. Bring bug repellant. If you’re traveling somewhere with mosquito-borne illnesses—such as malaria, dengue or Zika—be sure to spray insect repellent containing DEET (for children, use only products that contain less than 10 percent DEET). Wear long sleeves at critical times of the day.
  6. Check for evacuation routes and emergency exits. The Red Cross has helped communities around the world install signs that indicate evacuation routes in case a tsunami, flooding or another natural disaster occurs. Be sure to identify evacuation routes at your destination and always pay attention to the location of emergency exits.
  7. Register your trip with the US State Department. Enter your travel details with the free online Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which allows the State Department to better assist you in case of an emergency while traveling internationally.
  8. Make a plan. Just like at home, it’s important to establish a time and place to meet family members in case you get separated. Mobile service isn’t always dependable, so plan accordingly.   

Most importantly: have fun! The world is a beautiful place and adventure awaits. Once you’ve taken all these steps, you can cross “stress” off your list of things to pack. That leaves more room in your suitcase for souvenirs.

Red Cross Workers Open Reception Center in Thetford, Vermont During Flooding

flood app image

Concord, NH. / Burlington, VT. Saturday, July 1, 2017 – The New Hampshire / Vermont region of the American Red Cross is deploying Red Cross workers to open a reception center for people who are escaping the current flooding situation.

Reception Center information is as follows:

Thetford Elementary School

2689 VT-113 Thetford Center, VT 05075

WHAT TO BRING TO A SHELTER The Red Cross encourages those who plan to stay in a Red Cross evacuation shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family:

  • prescription and emergency medication
  • medical equipment such as a wheelchair/walker, oxygen, etc.
  • extra clothing
  • pillows
  • blankets and sleeping bags
  • hygiene supplies
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • small board games
  • books for entertainment
  • specialty snacks and juices for those with dietary restrictions
  • basic snacks
  • baby food and formula
  • diapers
  • beach chair or camp chair
  • identification
  • insurance papers
  • other comfort items

Additionally, special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, should be brought, along with other items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

You may not bring illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, or weapons into the shelter.

Pets are not allowed in evacuation shelters (except service animals): pet shelters may be available or you may choose to make other arrangements for your animals. will also be there to help during this time.

Be certain to download the FREE Red Cross Shelter App for your Smart Phone, it will give you a list of all open shelters in your area.

Please remember, this is an evacuation shelter and while food and drinks will be provided, other amenities may not be available. By following the above list, you can help make your stay more pleasant.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP Everyone should download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including emergency weather alerts, preparedness information and shelter locations. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

People living in the affected areas should listen to local officials and obey any evacuation orders. Other safety steps include:

  • Know your evacuation route.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Close doors, windows and hurricane shutters. If someone doesn’t have shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Fill the car’s gas tank.
  • Avoid flooded roads and bridges. Turn around, don’t drown.

MAKE A DONATION The work of the American Red Cross starts long before a storm moves through the region. For example, we have warehouses stocked with disaster relief supplies, thousands of trained workers, and more than 320 mobile response vehicles on standby year-round to be ready to help people in need. If we didn’t maintain these resources 24/7, we couldn’t get help to people in a timely fashion—but we depend on donations from the American public to be ready.

Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises by making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Red Cross Activates Operations In Response to Regional Flooding and Weather Warnings This Holiday Weekend


 Concord, NH / Burlington, VT. Saturday, July 1, 2017 The National Weather Service has issued several storm and flood watches during the past several hours, as well as possible flash flooding. Some weather may even lend itself to rare tornadic activity.

Red Cross personnel will be staffing the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center beginning this evening to work with state and local officials should sheltering become necessary. The Red Cross has a long history of being at the planning stages of disaster preparedness with our governmental partners when the potential for a disaster looms.

“When weather like this moves into the area, the Red Cross is working. Volunteers are mobilized, potential shelters are being put on standby, and planning teams are watching the weather and mobilizing supplies and people,” said Lloyd Ziel, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont. “this being a holiday weekend, you may have family and friends who are away from home. We urge people to reach out to those who may not be watching the news or their social media and share Red Cross preparedness tips with family and friends, because the best protection from the unexpected is to be prepared ahead of time.”

As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that people prepare for severe weather by taking the following steps:

  • Download the free Red Cross Emergency App: The Emergency App gives you instant access to weather alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in an emergency, all from your mobile device. This easy-to-use, all-inclusive app provides expert advice on what to do in case of disasters including floods, tornadoes, fires and more. The free Emergency App is available in app stores for smartphones and tablets by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to
  • Create and practice a home tornado plan: Pick a “safe room” or uncluttered area without windows where family members and pets could seek shelter on the lowest floor possible. An underground shelter or basement is the safest place to be. If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit: Pack a first aid kit and a seven-day supply of essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration, bottled water, flashlights, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents like insurance policies, cell phone chargers, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other emergency items for the whole family.
  • Heed storm warnings: Listen to local TV and radio stations for updated storm information. People in a severe storm or tornado WATCH area should keep informed and be ready to act if a warning is issued. A severe storm WARNING means severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar, and that danger to life and property is imminent. Watch for tornado danger signs including dark, often greenish clouds; a cloud of debris; large hail; a funnel cloud or a roaring noise.
  • Prepare for high winds: If you have time, secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that might be picked up by wind. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damaged limbs and strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.

For more information on what to do before, during and after a tornado, please visit

Volunteers On Standby: Regional leadership is identifying and calling available volunteers to stand by as the New England weather picture continues to come into focus. Disaster Teams and Volunteer Leadership are on notice across the two state region should flooding necessitate openings of shelters and Disaster Action Team mobilization.

During a disaster, Disaster Action Teams and disaster volunteers work in their communities in a variety of ways including assessing damage, reporting findings, working with displaced families, moving supplies to and from shelters and other locations, interfacing with first responders and helping to tell the Red Cross Story through writing for social media and other sources.

The American Red Cross is 90% volunteers, and volunteers are needed year round right here in New Hampshire and Vermont for training and preparation for home fires and storms. Volunteers share that the work they do for the Red Cross is some of the most fulfilling work they’ve ever done, knowing that they are helping their neighbors right in their own communities. If you can volunteer for the American Red Cross, go to to begin the volunteer process.

In New Hampshire and Vermont, a family is displaced by a disaster – most usually a home fire, on average, every 17 hours. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-464-6692, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Red Cross and community partners around the country are participating in a campaign called the “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.” If you, or someone you know doesn’t have smoke alarms installed in your home, Red Cross is working with local teams to install them. If you are in need of someone to install smoke alarms, please call the American Red Cross to arrange for a free smoke alarm installation or battery check at 1-800-464-6692.

As Summer Arrives, the American Red Cross Asks that You Be Prepared

The heat in New Hampshire and Vermont continues this week. It’s important to take some precautions so that you, your family, and your pets are prepared for the arrival of summer.

With humidity in the air, storms can form quickly in our region. Making sure you listen to local weather forecasts will keep you aware of fast coming changes.

Something we have here in our region is called the “heat index.” That refers to the temperature that the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. So when you’re making plans and preparations, make sure you take the temperature AND the heat index into consideration.

What would happen if, during warm or hot weather, the power would go out? Do you have the supplies you’d need or a plan for you and your family? You can go here to prepare for power outages.

Did you know, in recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events including floods. You can learn more about the differences between a Heat Watch and a Heat Advisory here. That’s also the page where you can learn the steps to take before, during and after a period of high heat so that you can make the right decisions to keep your loved ones safe.

Summer is finally here, and the American Red Cross asks you to enjoy the season, and think of us when you have questions about safety and preparedness.

American Red Cross Announces Winners of “2017 Vermont Everyday Heroes Awards”

     everyday-heroes-awards-logo   Join Co-Operative Insurance Companies and the American Red Cross to Celebrate the 2017 Vermont “Everyday Heroes Awards”

Burlington Event Honors Vermont Citizens on April 12th

Burlington, VT. – Tuesday, April 4, 2017. — The New Hampshire and Vermont Region of the American Red Cross and Co-Operative Insurance Companies are honoring citizens in Vermont by celebrating “everyday people” and the heroic things they do in our community.

The Everyday Heroes Awards are celebrated all over the country at which the American Red Cross honors people who personify our mission of service in local communities. To celebrate 100 Years of Service in Vermont, the American Red Cross and Co-Operative Insurance Companies will honor local heroes at the 2017 Everyday Heroes Awards on April 12, 2017.

summer -croppedSummer Stoutes – Tinmouth, VT – Rutland County

On the 5 year anniversary of her husband’s successful kidney cancer surgery, Summer saw a post online by a mother who was desperately trying to find a kidney donor for her 29 year old son. Summer knew what she had to do. She donated a kidney to a stranger, and it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.


gregg cuGregg Laber – St. Albans, VT – Franklin County

Gregg is a volunteer for Vision Guatemala and has helped source, organize, and ship over 100 wheelchairs to the underprivileged in Guatemala. Gregg works as a community leader to engage local residents in helping to provide resources for people who are in need.


tess - CU for webTess Kennedy – Montpelier, VT – Washington County

Tess watched her husband “PeeWee” lose his life to cancer, and all the while was moved by how important blood donation is. Tess has turned her grief into advocacy and shares her story with friends and family to gain awareness for the need of blood and platelet donations. She says “Donate blood or platelets. It’s the single best thing you can do to help.”


Dr. Richard Bernstein – Jericho, VT – Chittenden Countyrichard - close cropped

After retiring, Dr. Richard Bernstein became an Advanced EMT for Richmond Rescue.  While there, Richard saw a need and started the Richmond Rescue Opiate Task force with a goal of providing a mobile needle exchange, training EMS providers, providing education at local schools, and working with the Richmond Police Department to have a year-round drug take-back program.


Steve Bova - CU for webOfficer Stephen Bova – Winooski, VT – Chittenden County

Officer Bova was one of the first responders of a two vehicle accident where one female operator needed medical assistance. Officer Bova began medical assessment and, when unable to detect a pulse, began to administer CPR. The rescue squad arrived and brought the patient to the emergency department. After follow up, the patient had made a full recovery and the emergency doctor had advised that CPR was responsible for her full recovery by keeping her body oxygenated.


The 2017 Everyday Heroes Awards will be presented on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel Conference Center at 870 Williston Road, Burlington, VT from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Ticket Price: Single ticket for $25, or a grouping of 8 tickets for $175.
Includes: admittance to the event, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert. Purchase tickets here:

For information on sponsoring or attending this heartwarming event, go to . Questions can be directed to Kevin at or at 802-660-9130.

The Media is invited to attend this event.

Everyday Heroes, Co-Operative Insurance Companies leadership, Red Cross leadership, volunteers, and community sponsors and supporters will be available for photos and interviews. Scheduled to attend:

All Everyday Heroes Award recipients
Maria Devlin – Regional CEO, American Red Cross
Kevin Mazuzan – Vermont Executive Director, American Red Cross
Stephanie Couturier – Chief Development Officer, American Red Cross
Lloyd Ziel – Chief Communications Officer, American Red Cross


This year’s event is presented by the American Red Cross with generous support from our sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

Co-operative Insurance Companies

Media Sponsor


Corporate Sponsors

Northeast Delta Dental

Community Sponsors


Mylan Technologies Inc.

PC Construction

Rutland Regional Medical Center

Vermont State Employee Credit Union

In Kind Sponsors

BAE Systems


Program Ad Sponsors

Liberty Mutual Group

Titus Insurance Agency


About Co-operative Insurance Companies:

Co-operative Insurance Companies are based in Middlebury, Vermont and have been meeting insurance needs since 1915. They are a member-owned, non-assessable co-operative committed to protecting farms, homes, autos and businesses through fast and fair claim service and local operations. They have an A.M. Best financial rating of A (excellent) and do business throughout Vermont and New Hampshire through a network of local insurance agents.  For more information, please visit

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent 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 or join our blog at



Neutrality Isn’t Always Popular, But It’s Imperative


The American Red Cross delivers our Mission based on our Fundamental Principles. Through the years, Red Cross workers have weighed our Fundamental Principles in the face of some tough decisions.

Have a look at this GREAT article that captures how the American Red Cross keeps an eye on the big picture of alleviating suffering at times when doing so may initially seem unpopular.