UPDATED 11:20am 4/19
On Wednesday evening a fertilizer plant explosion devestated the small town of West, Texas. The disaster injured hundreds, and even more are without shelter or power.
Authorities have confirmed fatalities, but refuse to speculate on how many lives were lost until search and rescue operations in the many damaged and collapsed structures throughout the community are complete. At a press conference Friday morning, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that over 200 people are injured and 12 bodies have been recovered so far. Search and rescue and cleanup operations continue. The Waco Tribune website is an excellent local source of up-to-date information about this tragedy.
West is not asking for donations of supplies at this time, but requests donations of blood and financial support instead. After many phone calls and a few hours of scouring the web, I’ve compiled this list of the best ways to help.
- Donate to the Texas Disaster Relief Fund
- Donate blood to these organizations providing support to area hospitals.
- Donate funds to the Salvation Army, which has dispatched mobile kitchens to the area and is working to provide explosion survivors in West with blankets and jackets as temperatures drop
- Donate funds for the Capital Area Food Bank, an organization providing food, water, and supplies to families and first responders in West
- Donate online to Baylor University’s West Relief Fund
You can also offer assistance to individual survivors using these Google Documents:
- Provide housing for individual displaced West residents through this Google Document
- Provide individual offers of any kind of aid for West residents through this Google Document
I’ll update this post as new information becomes available, so check back later for additional ways to get involved.