Disaster Update: East Harlem Explosion

Between March 12 and March 23, the Red Cross carried out the below activities in response to the explosion and building collapse in East Harlem, New York City.

  • The Red Cross Emergency Operations Center was in operation and fully staffed 24/7 from the time of the collapse on March 12 through Sunday, March 23.
  • More than 338 adults and children were comforted and assisted by Red Cross caseworkers at NYC resident service centers.
  • Over 100 volunteers from across the Greater NY Region responded to the call to help those affected.
  • Over 20,000 meals, snacks and beverages have been served to residents and first responders.
  • Between March 12 and March 14, more than 70 residents overnighted at the Red Cross operated shelter at the Salvation Army facility (for a total of 121 shelter stays; i.e., some of those 70 residents stayed more than one night).
  • Dozens of children received solace and safe haven at the Red Cross shelter, with a little extra help from the Good Dog Foundation therapy dogs in conjunction with the ASPCA.
  • Nearly 500 blankets and personal hygiene comfort kits have been distributed. Comfort kits contain toiletries including soap, toothbrushes, face clothes, toothpaste, deodorant and additional items.
  • Red Cross Client Assistance staff has connected with more than 20 families in need of mental health and/or physical health support.

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