Red Cross Responds to Austin Apartment Blaze

AUSTIN, TX, Friday, December 21, 2012 — In the early morning hours of December 20th, the American Red Cross of Central Texas responded to a fire at the International Residence Apartments that would destroy 68 units and displace hundreds of residents. Red Cross and partner agencies are working hand in hand to meet the disaster-related needs of affected residents.

“Our community’s generous support of American Red Cross disaster relief allows Red Cross workers to respond to disasters like this apartment fire every 18 hours across Central Texas,” said Marty McKellips, American Red Cross Central Texas Region Chief Executive Officer.

SERVICES

Red Cross disaster workers opened a shelter early on Thursday morning at the Northwest Fellowship Church, 13427 Pond Springs RD, Austin, TX 78729. This shelter will remain open tonight, and apartment residents affected by the fire are encouraged to register at the shelter. So far, over 200 people have registered. Some residents came for a warm, safe place to stay, and others came by for a hot meal, or to speak with a Red Cross caseworker. 16 people stayed in the shelter Thursday night.

Red Cross Services Provided Yesterday:

• Served over 1000 meals and snacks to first responders and affected families, including breakfast, lunch and dinner at the shelter, as well as snacks, water and hot meals to firefighters battling the fire and other first responders.

• Red Cross caseworkers assisted more than 25 families with aid to replace shoes, clothing, winter coats and Health Services assistance to replace items including lost medications and eyeglasses. Casework is ongoing and will remain available to affected residents.

Red Cross is proud to work with partners in Williamson County Office of Emergency Management, Williamson County Animal Services, Austin Disaster Relief Network and Northwest Fellowship Church to serve the needs of families affected by the fire.

DONATIONS

Central Texans who wish to make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross Central Texas Region can call 512-928-4271, send a financial contribution to 2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, 78723 or make a secure online donation at www.redcross.org/austin.

The American Red Cross is not able to accept small, individual donations or collections of items for emergency relief purposes. If you have food, clothing or personal items to donate, please contact our partner agency, Austin Disaster Relief Network, by calling 512-331-2600.

VOLUNTEER

The American Red Cross disaster workforce is over 96% volunteer. Volunteers train and serve in disaster response activities locally and across the country all year long. If you would like to join the Red Cross, please visit www.redcross.org/austin to complete the new volunteer registration and background check.