I have sat here in the west for the past week with my mind very much focused on the aftermath that is Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. As I watched the storm begin to take shape last week and then grow into what we see today I was instantly taken back to a year ago. Another storm by the name of Irene crippled my former town of Killington and the surrounding towns.
Killington was one of the thirteen towns in Vermont that turned into an island. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a mountain town in Vermont would be hit by a Hurricane/Tropical Storm devastating the town. When Irene hit I felt the same helplessness I recently felt again with Sandy. I was then a member of our volunteer fire department as an EMT. I had traveled to New Hampshire the night before the storm to ironically do a recertification for the Wilderness portion of my EMT certification.
I remember as I sat online on Facebook watching houses I frequently ran past swept away, my main routes home washed away, and friends barely making it out of their homes as the water rose at an unprecedented rate. I felt helpless as my town was getting in many places washed away. As I watched Sandy many of those same emotions came back. This time however it was not my town but living through a devastated area and still seeing the effects almost daily before my recent move I could relate.
With Irene I was able to get home a couple days later and help out my town and my neighbors, this time it's a little bit different. As I watch my friends on the east coast gathering clothing, food, and other supplies for those in need I am warmed by the spirit of the people. Today I found out that many of the employees of Gaspari were hit pretty hard and yet they still pooled resources and were able to gather clothing and food which they will be donating tomorrow.
What can the rest of us do not in the area, well there is one simple thing:
DONATE $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999
This small gesture can help those in need as the weather turns cold and the lights are yet to come on. It's time to do our part and follow the lead of the employees of Gaspari and help those in need.