Claremont Receives Emergency Shelter Trailer

Claremont — “Increasing community resiliency,” is how Red Cross Readiness Manager Kristen Binau described the emergency shelter trailer that was delivered to the fire station yesterday.

The small trailer is filled with boxes containing 50 cots, 100 blankets, towels, toiletries, dry goods, paper plates, health care supplies and more.

Fire Chief Rick Bergeron said the trailer will complement the items the city has stored at the community center, which is the designated emergency shelter in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. The community center has some items, including tables and chairs, but there is not enough room to store additional supplies.

“It improves emergency preparedness pretty dramatically,” Bergeron said about the trailer. “It is the perfect complement to the shelter at the community center.”

The cots are the most important addition, the chief said, because it gives the city the capability to shelter people for several days. He cited the October 2005 flood and December 2008 ice storm that knocked out power for several days as prime examples of when the city could have better served residents. The fire station was the emergency shelter during those events.

“It is a good, quick initial step (in an emergency),” the chief said.

Binau said five new trailers are being delivered around the state to add to the 10 already in place.

While it will be kept in Claremont, probably inside the former Armory building on Winter Street, the trailer will be available to serve towns in Sullivan County, Bergeron said.

“Fortunately, it is in Claremont, but essentially, it is a Sullivan County trailer, Bergeron said, adding that the trailer’s mobility will allow it to be moved to any part of the state if one particular area gets hard hit. — Patrick O’Grady