Thursday afternoon, after a 5-alarm fire raced through an apartment complex on Terrace Avenue in Hempstead, Long Island, hundreds were forced to flee their homes in the bitter cold. Red Cross teams were on the scene immediately making sure that families’ emergency needs were met. A Red Cross relief center, opened at nearby Hempstead High School, provided a warm haven for the devastated families. There, residents found a safe place to sleep, warm meals, snacks, water, physical health assistance as well as emotional support from trained Red Cross mental health professionals. Of the nearly 80 residents who turned to the Red Cross yesterday for help, nearly 40 stayed the night at the shelter. The remaining families stayed with family and friends. The Red Cross will continue to support Hempstead residents in the coming days.
This fire comes on the heels of a considerable spike in disaster response activity for the Red Cross which coincides with this recent cold snap, Since early Monday morning (through Friday at noon), Red Cross teams have assisted approximately 300 residents impacted by nearly 60 local incidents (fires, water main breaks, carbon monoxide emergencies and other evacuations). These numbers are well above our daily average of 7 emergencies to which the Red Cross typically responds to every day in New York City, Long island and the Lower Hudson Valley.
Click here for information on how to stay safe during this brutal cold snap.