HOUSTON, TX, (December 26, 2017) – The American Red Cross is opening an emergency shelter and warming center today in South Houston to assist those displaced by a multi-unit fire at the Ashton Place apartment complex early Tuesday morning. Current estimates suggest that approximately 70 people may be affected by the fire that damaged the entire complex.
Red Cross volunteers and staff are preparing to provide residents in need with a safe, warm place to sleep, food and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs. Health Services and Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available, along with caseworkers who will meet with displaced families, assess their needs and help build their individualized recovery plans.
The warming center is open now and the emergency shelter will open later today. Both are located at Golden Acres Baptist Church, 2812 Pansy Street, Pasadena, Texas 77503.
With cold temperatures predicted throughout the week, the Red Cross encourages families to take precautions to stay safe:
• Never use a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
• Keep all potential sources of fuel, including paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces.
• Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended.
• Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
• Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
• Run water at a trickle to help prevent pipes from freezing
• Download the free Red Cross Emergency App, which offers additional safety tips, as well as real-time weather alerts, shelter locations and more.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP
The app provides instant access to weather and emergency alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in case an event occurs. The app covers 14 types of disasters including flood, tornado and severe thunderstorm and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts for themselves and where loved ones live. The app contains preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity, such as what to do before, during and after disasters. It also includes a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters should you need to leave home. The app is available in app stores by searching for the Red Cross Emergency or by going to redcross.org/apps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.
Help people affected by disasters like home fires, floods, and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends goes to its programs and services, which includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance, as well as supporting the vehicles, warehouses, technology and people that make help possible.
To join the Red Cross as a disaster responder, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer, enter your home zip code and select “Disaster Services” as your area of interest. Local volunteers are needed now to help the Red Cross provide disaster relief across the Texas Gulf Coast.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross, a United Way agency, shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.