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Red Cross Responds to Flooding, Explosions Across Part of Country

WASHINGTON, Friday, April 19, 2013 — The American Red Cross is providing help such as shelter, food, water and comfort to people affected by severe flooding in the Midwest, the explosion in Texas and the Boston marathon bombing.

“We have teams responding across the Midwest where flood waters have inundated communities across several states,” said Trevor Riggen, vice president of Disaster Operations for the Red Cross. “Meanwhile we are still helping people affected by the tragic events in Boston and Texas and will continue to help those in need.”

MIDWEST FLOODING In the Midwest, more than 270 people spent Thursday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin where flooding has caused heavy damage. Thousands are without power and homes and roadways flooded after heavy rainfall in the region. The Red Cross has additional volunteers, shelters and supplies on standby to support people forced from their homes by flood waters and we will be providing help for days to come.

MARATHON BOMBINGS In Boston, the Red Cross is providing food, water and comfort to people in the greater Boston area, including first responders and those being evacuated during the situation there today. More than 200 Red Cross Disaster workers have served more than 10,000 meals and snacks, handed out hundreds of relief items like blankets and comfort kits and provided hundreds of mental health and health services to those in need. Red Cross Blood Services has provided about 550 blood products to several hospitals in the Boston area.

WEST, TEXAS EXPLOSION Red Cross disaster workers have deployed from all over the state and are providing emotional support, health services and distributing relief items to those affected by the explosion. Red Cross Blood Services, a secondary supplier of blood to hospitals in the area, has shipped 175 blood products to hospitals in the region.

HOW TO HELP The Red Cross is helping people across a large region of the country affected by these disasters. If someone would like to help they can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief at or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit

Right now the Red Cross has enough blood on hand to help patients in Texas and Boston. However, patients need blood every day and those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting

FLOOD SAFETY People in many communities across the Midwest are dealing with flooded homes and power outages. The Red Cross has steps they can follow to stay safe:

  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • If a flood or flash flood warning is issued for someone’s area, they should head for higher ground and stay there.
  • People should stay away from floodwaters. If someone comes across an area where water is above their ankles, they should stop, turn around and go another way. If they encounter a flooded road while driving, they should also turn around and go another way. If the car is caught in rising water, they should get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • It is important to be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.
  • Children are curious and should be kept out of the water.
  • STEPS TO HELP COPE This has been a difficult week for people all across the country with horrifying events, dramatic and emotional news reports and severe weather happening across the country. In these times, it’s important for people to connect with and support each other and do something that makes them feel prepared for future disasters. 

    The Red Cross has information people can use to cope in the aftermath of these tragedies. For free counseling or support which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746. 

    Getting oneself and one’s loved ones more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind. Taking an action like downloading the Red Cross first aid app, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help someone feel empowered to face future emergencies.

    Contact: Public Affairs Desk, Telephone: (202) 303-5551, FOR MEDIA ONLY

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.