Floods, snowstorms, multi-unit apartment fires … the American Red Cross of Massachusetts has had a busy first seven days of 2014.
Since New Year’s Eve, the Red Cross has been called to 39 disasters in Massachusetts to aid 289 people.
Among the responses:
• North Attleboro: A fire in a vacant building in the middle of Friday’s snowstorm was difficult on first responders in very cold conditions. The Red Cross aided 20 families (27 people) who lived in neighboring structures. We are still actively working these cases.
• Lawrence: Saturday, with more than a day of bitter cold settling in the region, an apartment building had a frozen pipe burst. As the landlord made arrangements for his tenants, the Red Cross set up the Arlington School in Lawrence as a warming center to provide breakfast and lunch to the residents. The warming center was visited by Mayor Daniel Rivera, who was on his way back from his own inauguration.
• Orange: On Sunday, 7 families (11 people) were displaced by a fire in a multi-unit building. Seven Red Cross volunteers were on hand to make sure they had emergency funds for food and clothing, and could start their recovery after the fire.
• Cambridge: Sunday night, a pipe burst in the YWCA in Cambridge, displacing 98 residents. That night, working with the city of Cambridge and the YWCA, the Red Cross opened a shelter for 42 women. This shelter is still open.
The American Red Cross of Massachusetts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist individuals and families displaced by natural and man-made disasters, including home fires (the majority of responses), hurricanes, blizzards, floods, hazardous materials spills and other emergencies. All disaster assistance is free, paid for by the generosity of donors.