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Red Cross On the Scene of California Explosion, Colorado Wildfire


The American Red Cross is providing support at the scene of the massive gas explosion near San Francisco, California, while continuing to supply food and a safe place to stay to those affected by the wildfire burning near Boulder, Colorado.

In San Bruno, California, a huge explosion triggered by a broken gas line sent flames roaring through a neighborhood, destroying more than 50 homes and damaging many others. The Red Cross provided a safe place to stay to more than 200 residents, and has three emergency vehicles on the scene. Meals and refreshments are being served to emergency responders and those taking refuge in the shelters.

The American Red Cross Northern California Blood Region has been in constant communication with local hospitals and with the other blood collection agencies in the area to offer support with any blood needs that arise. Local blood centers are experiencing an increase in the need for blood products from bay area hospitals, especially the trauma hospitals in close proximity to San Bruno. An appeal for blood has been issued in California, especially for type O negative blood.

Local hospitals remain on triage alert, and several victims are being treated for burns and other injuries, which may require transfusions of blood products. The Red Cross is anticipating a significant increase in calls for blood donations over the next several days.

In Colorado, high winds today could fan the flames which have already destroyed about 7,000 acres, moving the fire closer to Boulder. City officials have urged thousands of residents to be prepared to evacuate if necessary. The Red Cross has one shelter open in Boulder where more than 50 people have sought refuge throughout the week, and dozens more have sought information or assistance. Disaster workers are prepared to open more shelters if necessary. The Red Cross has served about 1,000 meals and snacks to responders and residents displaced by the fire, and handed out comfort kits containing hygiene items and other basic necessities to those in need.

It’s been a busy week for Red Cross disaster workers, who also responded to the flooding across northern Texas where as much as a foot of rain fell as Tropical Depression Hermine moved through the area. The Red Cross was also on the scene in Detroit, where high winds downed electrical wires, causing fires all over the city. In both states, the Red Cross was able to provide food and shelter to those in need.

Disasters can occur without notice. In the case of the San Bruno explosion, many residents had just sat down for supper when the explosion occurred. The Red Cross urges everyone to be prepared should an emergency occur by taking three steps: build an emergency kit; make a plan on how your household can respond to emergencies; and be informed about emergencies which could occur where you live and how local authorities will notify you about the situation.

To find out more about what steps you should take to be prepared, visit our web site. To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by these disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text - visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.