Disaster Action Team volunteers from the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross provided assistance April 14 to more than 30 Cornell University students who were displaced from their apartments by an early-morning fire at the Chapter House Brew Pub and the next-door apartment building in Ithaca.
A total of 20 students will not be able to return to their apartments. Depending on their needs, the Red Cross will provide them with comfort kits with personal hygiene items, and vouchers for clothing, shoes, bedding and linens. Another 12 students are temporarily displaced from their apartments, and the Red Cross will provide those students with the same items, again depending on their needs.
A member of the community is providing housing for all of the students who need it from today through the end of the semester. Cornell University is providing food for all of the displaced students.
Four American Red Cross volunteers from Tompkins County and three from Broome County responded immediately to Cornell University and the scene of the fire and are continuing to work with the students to assess their needs. Additional volunteers are on standby, and volunteers will remain available to the students for long-term counseling and support.
“As an organization that has seen the worst of these situations, we’re thankful that no one was injured in this fire,” said Jill Deskins, Disaster Program Manager for the Southern Tier Chapter, which includes Tompkins County. “We’ll continue to work with our partners at Cornell University and with the students to ensure that all of the students’ needs are met as they finish this semester.”
TWO LIFESAVING STEPS The American Red Cross has launched an initiative to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the next five years. The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.
As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to install free smoke detectors in homes that need them. To schedule an installation or for more information about the program, please contact Deskins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-785-7207.