Wednesday, August 9, 2017

One Year Later - Red Cross Response in Silver Spring

Written by: Keegan Wieland, volunteer

Last year on August 11, 2016, an apartment complex in Silver Spring, Maryland exploded due to a gas leak. The explosion and subsequent fire caused a number of fatalities and displaced more than 150 individuals, leaving them with no home. The Red Cross and local government partners quickly responded and supplied the Long Branch Community Center with sleeping cots, blankets and other materials for the displaced families while they recovered. This shelter remained open for nearly two weeks. 
Over 9,000 meals were served to the over 200 individuals who stayed at the shelter. The Red Cross continued its support after the center was closed, housing some individuals who were still in need of a place to stay for nine days. Along with food and shelter, the Red Cross checked up on the status of the individuals and provided them with the proper information to seek a full recovery. This included a community outreach program in the neighborhood where volunteers went door-to-door providing recovery information and emotional support. A fund was also set up by local government officials and other non-profits in the community and the Red Cross assisted in the distribution process. In a generous show of support, both McDonald’s and Giant Food also provided families with food and water.
None of this would have been possible without the tireless work and selflessness of our Red Cross volunteers. Disasters can occur anywhere at any time, and it’s their support that makes responses like the one in Silver Spring possible. Thank you to our volunteers for everything they do for your American Red Cross and our community.

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