Red Cross Response to the Boston Marathon Explosions

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, April 16, 2013Our hearts go out to everyone in Boston dealing with this tragedy and our thoughts are with all of those injured.

We understand that people around the country want to help and we appreciate that nationwide show of support. Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to support this event both financially and with an adequate local blood supply.

In response to the marathon bombings, the Red Cross has provided about 450 additional blood products to several area hospitals to help meet the needs of those injured. At the request of Boston area authorities, the Red Cross is also providing mental health and spiritual care support to the people injured and their families. We will be working in close coordination with officials to determine how else we can best help the community and support emergency workers.

People who may want to provide other support to the Red Cross can consider taking one of these actions:

  • This tragedy shows that emergencies can happen in any community at any time. While the Red Cross has all it needs to respond to this event, we do need the public’s support to respond to the nearly 70,000 other disasters we handle every year around the country and Boston. If you want to support our work responding to and preparing for future emergencies please make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org.
  • The need for blood is constant. Eligible blood and platelet donors across the country are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.
  • Type O negative blood is often used during emergencies, when there is no time to determine the patient’s blood type. It’s especially important that people with type O blood donate as frequently as they can.
  • Many people in Boston yesterday jumped in to provide immediate help for the victims. Register for a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course at redcross.org so that you can be better prepared to help in future emergencies.
  • Download the free Red Cross First Aid App which puts free and simple lifesaving information in the hands of smart phone and tablet users. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
  • For those in Boston or have loved ones there, knowing people are safe is the best way to bring peace of mind. It is important for people to connect with one another. People who have access to a computer should go to redcross.org/safeandwell to list themselves as safe. Those in Boston without computer access can text loved ones or call a family member and ask them to register the person on the site.

    Watching the events in Boston unfold both on television and social media can be stressful for people and bring up memories of other tragedies.

    Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows for sure what will happen next. It’s important to remember that it's okay to feel nervous. People should take care of themselves and their families, and for example, can reach out to others to offer and receive support. Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety. It’s also important for people not to overexpose themselves to media reports about the tragedy.

    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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.