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San Antonio Red Cross Assists Apartment Fire Victims in Recovery

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We are working with other social service providers and the apartment management to meet their changing needs as the recovery process unfolds in the weeks and months to come.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, January 02, 2015— The American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio continues to help residents of the Wedgewood Apartments who lost their homes in a tragic fire in Castle Hills on December 28th. Partnering with apartment management and other relief agencies, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide the displaced residents with the assistance and support they need.

Trained Red Cross disaster volunteers have been on-hand to deliver hot meals, offer emotional support, meet ongoing health needs, and do recovery casework at each of the four hotels where displaced residents are staying. Red Cross workers are also working to contact residents who are staying with family and friends.

“Feeding has been one of our major focuses, and the San Antonio Food Bank and H-E-B have been excellent partners in helping feed the residents—now we are looking at how the clients’ needs will change moving forward,” said Monica Reyes, Executive Director for the American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio, Texas. “We are working with other social service providers and the apartment management to meet their changing needs as the recovery process unfolds in the weeks and months to come.”

Since the fire broke out on December 28th, more than 50 local Red Cross disaster workers have:

  • Served more than 6,000 meals and snacks
  • Performed 380 health and mental health checks
  • Distributed 122 comfort items
  • Opened 108 cases to help residents with ongoing recovery needs
  • “We have been so touched by the resilience of all those impacted by this devastating fire,” Reyes said. “Our volunteers and staff are keeping the affected families in our thoughts as the community moves forward from this tragedy.”

    The Wedgwood Apartment fire served as a devastating reminder of the destructive power of disasters. The Red Cross is urging families to take precautions to keep their families safe in the event of a home or apartment fire. As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for disasters by:

  • Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a fire occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of fire. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice.
  • Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.
  • Ensure Your Home Has Smoke Alarms: Each floor should have a smoke alarm and each should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. Change the batteries in your alarms at least once a year, unless they have long-lasting batteries. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low. Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. Never disable a smoke alarm.
  • HOW TO HELP

    People can make a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Greater San Antonio, Texas Chapter.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.