The American Red Cross is supporting people in West, Texas after the plant explosion there while continuing to help first responders and those affected by the marathon bombings which occurred earlier this week in Boston.
Volunteer Dominic DiGirolamo, of Belmont (Disaster Mental Health) will leave Friday in the afternoon for Boston to provide emotional support.
MARATHON BOMBINGS In Boston, the Red Cross is providing emotional support and health and spiritual care services at the various community vigils and supporting a family assistance center. Red Cross Blood Services has provided about 500 blood products to several hospitals in the Boston area. Nearly 150 disaster workers have deployed to provide support and comfort. Since Monday, the Red Cross has served about 7,000 meals and snacks, distributed relief items like blankets and comfort kits and provided hundreds of mental health and health services to those affected.
WEST, TEXAS EXPLOSION Within hours of the plant explosion in Texas, the Red Cross opened a shelter and began supporting a community response center. Red Cross disaster workers have been deployed from all over the state and are providing emotional support and health services with relief items such as comfort kits and water enroute to the region. Red Cross Blood Services is providing blood products to help those injured in the explosion.
HOW TO HELP This week’s tragedies prove that an emergency can happen anywhere, at anytime. While the Red Cross helps in Texas and Boston, it is preparing to respond to severe weather and flooding in other areas of the country. To support Red Cross disaster response, people can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief at www.redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People who want to make a donation to directly support victims of the Boston Marathon bombings can visit www.theonefundboston.org.
The Red Cross has enough blood in its inventory now to support both the situation in Texas as well as Boston but reminds everyone that the need for blood is constant. Those who are eligible to give blood are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org.
Many rushed in to provide immediate help for victims of the explosions in Texas and Boston. People can register for a Red Cross First Aid/CPR class at www.redcross.org or take the Family First Aid and CPR class online by visiting www.redcross.org/takeaclass. They can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App which puts simple lifesaving information for first aid emergencies in the hands of smart phone and tablet users. The app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
STEPS TO HELP COPE It has been a difficult week for people across the country. In times like these, it is important for people to connect with and support each other. 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.