On Monday, July 10, 2023, residents throughout the northeast were flooded by a 1-in-100 year storm, brought on by the climate crisis. A few days later, intense rainfall continued to hit the region, flooding additional towns, washing out roads, and impairing relief efforts that were already underway. Some of the worst flooding took place in Vermont, a state known as one of the best areas to survive climate chaos, demonstrating that no region is safe from the impacts of humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels and ecocidal economics. But as people’s trust in a geographic refuge has weakened, trust in an interwoven, multi-dimensional refuge made up of our love and solidarity for each other is strengthening.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is collaborating with local mutual aid groups and autonomous action brigades, including NEK Mutual Aid, Southern Vermont Mutual Aid, Barre City Mutual Aid, Rose Core CollectiveNew Hampshire Mutual Aid Relief Fund, Food Not Cops, Bread and Puppet, Keene Mutual Aid, and many other solidarity-based efforts to support relief and rebuilding in Montpelier, Barre, Cabot, Londonderry, Ludlow, Cavendish, Middlesex, Weston, Glover, Orleans, Hardwick, and throughout the region. There is also a VT Flooding 2023 Response and Recovery Mutual Aid Facebook group that is acting as an online hub for people-powered response efforts as well as a crowd-sourced resource list.

The first few days after floods are critical for mitigating damage to health and homes from black mold. We have already purchased hundreds of tyvek suits, along with p100 respirators, dehumidifiers, pumps, fans, and other PPE and flood cleanup gear, distributed food and water, set up supply drives and distribution hubs, and started on cleanup efforts. There are long-standing traditions of neighbors helping neighbors via direct personal relationships in many of these towns and cities. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and really moving to see the amazing relief work in the area, both organized and spontaneous – the human version of the rainbows that bring smiles to our eyes after the days of dark skies.

If you have the capacity to assist with pumping out basements, mucking and gutting flooded homes, cleaning homes, helping with laundry, cooking for community and work crews, providing legal assistance or offering housing to renters getting run out of their homes, transporting supplies, and so much more, connect with local mutual aid efforts in your area who are responding or email us at [email protected]

If you are not in the area, but want to support these efforts, all monetary donations made to Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in July are going to Vermont flooding relief efforts. If you would like to send supplies directly, several donation collection hubs have formed in the region and can receive donations in person or have supplies shipped to them directly for distribution in impacted areas. We continue to post donation hub locations, needs lists, and other updated information on our social media accounts, such as our Instagram.

As world temperatures break records day after day, and places thought to be safe experience historic impacts, resistance of the heart against business as usual (to borrow the words of Vermont’s Bread and Puppet artists) is needed now more than ever. As floodwaters rise, so do our emergency hearts and hands, and our commitment to shake off the toxic oppressions that have led to this moment.