Last night the American Red Cross Serving the Greater San Antonio, Texas Area closed the respite center at Churchill High School. As the residents were placed in hotels by the apartment management or were picked up by family, the Red Cross worked closely with its partners, including city agencies and non-government organizations, to ensure all individuals had a a safe place to stay, food to eat, clothing, and medication
“This is a key landmark in the transition from the response phase to the recovery phase,” said Monica Reyes, Executive Director for the American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio, Texas. “As families transition out of the shelter with the help of our case workers and partner agencies in the community, they are taking an essential step on the path to recovery.”
Red Cross disasters workers will continue to ensure the immediate needs of the residents are met by providing mass care, health, and mental health assistance. Anyone who has been affected by the Wedgwood Apartment fire and is in need of assistance is encouraged to call the local Red Cross chapter at (210) 224-5151or visit redcross.org/SanAntonio.
Since the fire yesterday, Red Cross mobilized more than 20 disaster workers, served more than 500 meals and snacks, and performed more than 300 health and mental health checks. Red Cross case workers will be working with the individuals affected to ensure on-going recovery needs are met.
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.