By Trina Bianchi, Contributor

After months of planning, the Resilience Survey has launched, and Charlotte Community Partners wants to hear from each and every one of you. Click here if you want to take it while sitting in the comfort of your own home. You can also complete the survey on the Charlotte Library or Town of Charlotte websites.

If you’re not into doing the survey online, no problem. There are paper copies at the following places: Charlotte Library, Spear’s Corner Store, Charlotte Children’s Center on Ferry Road, Charlotte Congregational Church in the breezeway, Charlotte Children’s Center at the church, or at the Food Shelf. Take it home, complete it, and return it to one of the specially marked green boxes at all of the noted places.

Why are we asking you to take the time to complete this? Because we do not want to simply hear from a few folks, we want to hear from all our residents. Unless you tell us what you think about our town and what you would like to see in our town, planning the future of our town becomes a guessing game. Are we prepared for the future? What do you think? Were we prepared to deal with COVID-19? If you see areas where our town was not prepared to help you and your family during the past 8 months, this survey is where you can make your voice heard. This pandemic will not be the last crisis this town will face, so help our town learn where we fall short in being prepared.

As you take the survey, don’t be dismayed if you truly don’t know the answer to some of the questions. This writer has taken the survey and was pretty surprised at just how many questions I truly had no clue about. “Don’t Know” is a valid answer as it tells us that either we are not doing what needs to be done in that particular area, or what has been done has not been communicated effectively. Communication sometimes has not been given enough attention or made a priority, and that’s important information for the town to know.

And maybe you’re now reading this and saying, “What survey?” This survey came to the attention of some very forward-thinking folks at the library as it had been formulated in the wake of Hurricane Irene when so many Vermont towns and families sustained substantial damage from the incredible, unexpected flooding around our state. It became apparent during the aftermath of that devastation that some towns rebounded more easily and more quickly than others; it was determined that it was the result of them being more and/or better prepared for the crisis. In other words, more resilient. To study that further, the Community Resilience Organization (CRO) came into being and the survey was created. To date, 10 towns in Vermont have taken the survey and used the results to bring about change and improvements in those towns for their citizens. In Charlotte, several months ago, the CRO was contacted and the wheels to do this in Charlotte began turning.

The COVID team/Charlotte Community Partners, consisting of folks coming from various organizations and walks of life in our town, decided to take up this mission as a way to learn whether or not our town was indeed ready, in various areas, to handle a crisis in the future.

The survey is out now and will be available for you to complete until December 11.