COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The American Red Cross is working closely with those in South Florida following the Florida high school shooting that killed 17 people.
The Red Cross is supporting a family assistance center, and mental health and spiritual care volunteers are on hand to help. Over the coming days, the Red Cross will continue to coordinate closely with local officials and community partners to determine how we can best support the community and the loved ones of those who have been harmed.
"While we do not typically serve hospitals in South Florida, the Red Cross provided 50 units of type O negative blood to support hospitals in response to the shooting," the Red Cross said in a release.
The organization says it stands ready to provide additional blood and blood products as needed.
Volunteer blood donors are also needed each and every day to help save lives.
The Red Cross has an adequate blood supply to respond to this tragedy and is grateful for all donors who generously give blood throughout the country.
Here are some coping and preparedness tips from the Red Cross:
- 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.
- Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events, especially for children. Children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
- Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety. Talk with them in ways that they can easily understand. Let them guide the conversation; share details only when they ask about them.
- Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
- Spend more time with family and friends and offer your support. Hug one another and listen.
- Watch for signs of stress in your family, friends, and children. Get help from others if needed.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
- To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746