The following statement regarding the building collapse in Surfside, Miami Dade County may be attributed to the American Red Cross:
As recovery operations continue after the tragic building collapse in Surfside, Florida, families are dealing with the pain of losing loved ones and their homes.
To help people cope, the American Red Cross is providing emergency hotel lodging for more than 30 residents and others displaced by the crisis. Red Cross volunteers are supporting families at the assistance center — which is a safe space for people to receive emotional support, get something to eat and drink, connect with community organizations offering aid, and hear updates from authorities. About 80 Red Crossers are aiding to the Surfside community, including specially trained disaster mental health and spiritual care volunteers who are providing one-on-one support to those coping with this tragedy. Red Cross caseworkers are meeting with families to help them plan their next steps.
Our teams are grateful for the offers of help and outpouring of support. At this time, the Red Cross has what it needs to assist people impacted and is not accepting financial donations specifically for this tragedy. We are asking people to not send items like stuffed animals, blankets, clothing and household goods — as it takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute these items, which diverts limited resources away from helping those most affected. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to coordinate with local officials and community partners to determine how we can best support the Surfside community during this time of need.
We have not received requests for blood products in response to this tragedy. While the Red Cross does not collect blood in most of Florida, we are standing by to support any needs that may arise. On June 14, the Red Cross announced a severe blood shortage and healthy individuals are urged to roll up a sleeve to help patients across the country.
COPING AND PREPAREDNESS TIPS
This is a difficult time for everyone affected and it’s important for people to connect with and support each other. The Red Cross offers the following tips to help people stay strong:
- Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. Remember that it's okay to feel nervous.
- Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
- Stay informed but limit media exposure of the event.
- Spend more time with family and friends, watch for signs of stress, offer your support and listen to one another.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink water and get enough rest.
- If you or a loved one needs help, reach out through the Disaster Distress Helpline for free 24/7 support by calling 800-985-5990 or texting TALKWITHUS to 66746.
Children can also be affected by tragedies and, just like adults, their reactions can vary. How a child reacts will depend on their age, previous experiences and how they typically cope with stress. Children may also react, in part, to what they see from the adults around them. When parents respond calmly and confidently, they can provide better support.
Parents should let children talk about their fears and reassure them about their safety, and talk with them in ways that they can easily understand, letting the child guide the conversation. Share details only when they ask about them, and limit exposure to news coverage of the event as children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.