The recent tragedies in Boston and in Texas have left permanent scars in the lives of those affected. Lives and homes have been lost, and the world’s of many were changed in an instant. For those of us not directly impacted, the events have nontheless left us shaken and unsure of what may happen next.
What is often difficult to grasp is simply not knowing what’s next. An unfortunate reality is that accidents do happen and tragedy can strike without so much as a moment’s notice.
But we are not helpless. There are a number of things that we can do to both reduce our risk/exposure to such events AND prepare ourselves to react and respond should disaster occur.
When we think of the term “first responder,” we most often think of the professional fire, police, and medical personnel that arrive to the scene of an emergency within minutes of it occuring. But have you ever considered yourself a first responder? If you are witness to an emergency, you are among the first people available to respond.
This is what we saw in Boston, Texas, and essentially any emergency big or small – people immediately jumping in to help those in need. Whether on the ground providing First Aid or CPR, on the phone calling 911, or helping to keep others out of harm’s way, we all have a role in emergency response and the more information and training we have, the better equipped we are to handle any situation.
This week’s events are a not-so-subtle reminder of the need for every individual to get involved and be prepared for emergency situations. We hope to never be faced with events like these, but having the tools and knowing how to respond are a great comfort to you and those around you should the unthinkable ever occur.
The Red Cross has a number of tools you can use to get prepared/trained and be ready just in case! From CPR/First Aid classes and emergency planning resources, to our Safe and Well website and numerous mobile apps and so much more, it’s easy to get started on getting ready. The rest is up to you.
Stay safe out there!
HOW TO HELP This week’s tragedies prove that an emergency can happen anywhere, at anytime. While the Red Cross helps in Texas and Boston, it is preparing to respond to severe weather and flooding in other areas of the country. To support Red Cross disaster response, people can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief at www.redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People who want to make a donation to directly support victims of the Boston Marathon bombings can visit www.theonefundboston.org.