The American Red Cross of Massachusetts always has its Disaster Operations Center open and fully staffed during large events in the area – political conventions, Red Sox playoffs – and the Boston Marathon is no exception to this rule. This year, following the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013, extra precautions will be in place. To see how we responded to the tragic incidents of last year, please click here.
Volunteers from the American Red Cross will staff area Emergency Operation Centers as they always have, but will have a presence at more locations. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will be up and running in Framingham with a Red Crosser on site. There will be Red Cross volunteers at the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Emergency Operation Center, Massachusetts Public Health Department and other intelligence centers in the area.
We are also working in partnership with the cities and towns along the marathon route to staff pre-identified evacuation reception centers should the race be disrupted. Volunteers experienced in sheltering large groups of evacuees, in feeding large groups of people, and in offering both medical and psychological first aid will be on hand.
We will also have Disaster Mental Health volunteers staff every medical station along the route, in addition to counselors at the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton and the finish line in Boston. Our volunteers will also be supporting various community memorials in the week before race day.
As it has for decades, the Boston Marathon will create a traffic concern our teams must navigate – even responses to house fires could see an impact. Disaster Action Teams will be stationed on either side of the course to respond to smaller incidents.
The needs of our communities will evolve as the date for the 118th B.A.A. Marathon comes near. The American Red Cross stands ready to meet the unique challenges this year’s running of the marathon will bring.