Avon Considers Regional Shelter Agreement with American Red Cross

Town Manager Brandon Robertson addressed the Avon Town Council on the proposal Feb. 7.

Avon High School may soon be designated as an American Red Cross regional shelter.

That means that American Red Cross staff would manage the shelter and reimburse the town for food and supplies used. People from area towns would be allowed to come to the shelter when it's open for emergency situation.

"Storm Sandy provided us with a very successful 'dry run,' as ARC came in the night before the storm and managed the shelter with local staff support," Avon Town Manager Brandon Robertson told the Avon Town Council in a recent meeting.

Robertson addressed council members about the proposal Thursday, saying that he anticipates "executing this agreement shortly," according to his agenda notes. He said that staff members have concluded that becoming a regional shelter would be advantageous to Avon.

Town Council Chairman Mark Zacchio said that council members had questions about the capacity "in a major shelter opening," how it will affect Avon residents, any possible costs to Avon and whether other towns would still open their own emergency shelters.

Council members also asked what would happen if Avon needed to open the shelter but other towns weren't ready, people from other towns needed the Avon shelter because their town's shelter wasn't open, and who would be responsible for finding those people alternative places to go, according to Zacchio.

Town officials would still decide whether to open or close the shelter, according to Robertson. 

Zacchio said there would be some benefits to Avon as an American Red Cross regional shelter, including the services of the organization's doctors and nurses.

"We asked that the town manager gets approval from the [Town Council] before executing any agreement at this point," Zacchio said.


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