The American Red Cross is providing help and comfort to people affected by the Midwest floods and the West, Texas, plant explosion, while also continuing support for the Boston community after last week’s tragic events.
“We have teams responding across a large part of the country to help people in need,” said Trevor Riggen, vice president of Disaster Operations for the Red Cross.
MIDWEST FLOODING In the Midwest, more than 240 people spent Saturday night in 25 Red Cross and community shelters due to severe flooding. Workers are providing food, shelter, emotional support and health services to those affected.
The Red Cross has additional volunteers, shelters and supplies on standby to support people forced from their homes by floodwaters, and we will be providing help for days to come.
WEST, TEXAS EXPLOSION Red Cross workers are also providing food, water, emotional support, health services and relief items such as comfort kits to those affected by the explosion in West, Texas. During the next few days, Red Cross workers will be coordinating with local officials to open and support a joint assistance center to provide resources for those affected. The Red Cross has also shipped 175 blood products to hospitals in the area to help the injured.
MARATHON BOMBINGS Even though the manhunt has ended in Boston, Red Cross workers continue to assist people in need by supporting a family assistance center in coordination with local officials.
To date, more than 200 workers have served nearly 13,000 meals and snacks, handed out hundreds of relief items such as blankets and comfort kits, and provided hundreds of mental health and health services to those in need. Red Cross Blood Services has provided about 550 blood products to several hospitals in the Boston area.
HOW TO HELP The Red Cross is helping people across a large region of the country affected by these disasters. If someone would like to help they can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit www.onefundboston.org.
Right now the Red Cross has enough blood on hand to help patients in Texas and Boston. However, patients need blood every day and those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org.
STEPS TO HELP COPE This has been a difficult week for people all across the country with horrifying events, dramatic and emotional news reports and severe weather happening across the country. In these times, it’s important for people to connect with and support each other and do something that makes them feel prepared for future disasters.
The Red Cross has information people can use to cope in the aftermath of these tragedies. For free counseling or support which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746. Getting oneself and one’s loved ones more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind. Taking an action like downloading the Red Cross first aid app, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help someone feel empowered to face future emergencies.