The American Red Cross responded quickly following the fatal collapse of I-35W highway bridge in Minneapolis last night. Red Cross volunteers have been working through the night, both at the site of the crash and at the local Twin Cities Chapter, supporting families and rescue workers. Two Emergency Response Vehicles have been at the bridge site, providing food and water to families, emergency services personnel, clergy and others at the scene. In addition, the charity has established a family assistance center at a nearby hotel.
Red Cross Mental Health workers are on also providing counseling onsite and at the chapter building, where family members have gathered. The “Safe and Well” Web site is also available, offering an avenue to connect families looking for loved ones. We have a Red Cross public affairs officer on the scene who will be filing additional stories soon.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.