Catherine Ross, NBC 5 News
NBC 5 and Kroger are asking our community to help with the relief effort. Coin boxes are in place at checkstands at every Kroger in the DFW Metroplex.
Here are some emergency resources for victims of the West fertilizer plant explosion as well as information for those who wish to help the community.
The town of West has plenty of law enforcement and search-and-rescue crews on the scene, West Mayor Tommy Muska said.
So, what can you do to help?
NBC 5 and Kroger are asking our community to help with the relief effort for the damage caused by the devastating explosion in West. Viewers are asked to go to their neighborhood Kroger and make a monetary donation to the American Red Cross at Kroger's checkstands.
Coin boxes are in place at checkstands at every Kroger in the DFW Metroplex. The boxes are marked "Disaster Relief" and 100 percent of the money will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
The Red Cross says their blood supplies are in good shape but the tragedy in West, along with the bombings in Boston and tornados in the Midwest this week show there’s always a need. They say if folks want to help their response efforts they can text “Red Cross” to 9099 to make a $10 donation.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office also provided a list of of disaster resources at this link: Disaster Center.
The Scott & White Blood and Donation Center was accepting blood donations overnight Wednesday. Hillcrest Hosptial, one of the hospitals treating victims, will also accept blood donations.
Carter BloodCare said in a statement Thursday that it is sending blood to hospitals treating patients from the explosion in West, near Waco. It says blood "will be in great demand over the next two weeks" as officials work to replenish supplies used after Wednesday's incident. Click here to find a Carter BloodCare location to donate.
UPDATE: Carter BloodCare may ask those wishing to donate to schedule an appointment for a later date.
Due to overwhelming support, we may ask to schedule your appt. in the days or weeks to come, to support recovery of all ongoing needs.
— Carter BloodCare (@CarterBloodCare) April 18, 2013
The Texas Rangers will team up with Carter BloodCare for a blood drive on Sunday, April 21. The blood drive will take place at the Ballpark, in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, between the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The University of North Texas and Carter BloodCare in Denton will host a blood drive next Tuesday and Wednesday. It will take place on the east side of the University Union from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
The items most in need by the victims of Wednesday's explosion are the following: Diapers/wipes, new underwear, blankets, water bottles, gift cards for grocery stores or home supply stores, toiletries, sports drinks or powdered sports drinks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, non-perishable food items, clothing of all sizes, bedding, dog and cat food. Officials said Thursday they DO NOT need perishable items.
The Texas Rangers will be collecting relief items prior to each game this weekend. Items will be collected from two hours prior to game time until 30 minutes after the first pitch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those wishing to make a donation can drop off any of the most requested items listed above.
Seven Children's Lighthouse locations will be accepting donations through next week at locations in Fort Worth, Carrollton, Hickory Creek, Denton, McKinney, Arlington and Grand Prairie. They plan to drive seven vans full of donations to West on Friday, April 26.
The UNT chapter of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity is collecting items for residents of West who have been left homeless from the fertilizer plant explosion. Fraternity members have set up a collection box in Room 422 of UNT’s University Union, which is the Office of Greek Life. They are requesting donations of the most requested items listed above. Frat brothers will take the supplies to Waco on Friday for distribution to West. The Sigma Phi Lambda house will hold a similar fundraiser at the University Union from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
Point West Bank is taking donations for the victims. Donations can be dropped off or sent to 200 West Oak St., West, TX 76691. Please make checks out to Victims of West Explosion.
The Salvation Army is responding to the area with four emergency disaster kitchens. Workers are distributing food and water to victims and emergency responders. Donations may be made at salvationarmydfw.org
The Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force, a 501(c)3 organization made up of volunteers who conduct specialized responses to incidents across Texas said it is in need of funds to help support the families of injured and fallen first responders.
At this time the group says 22 responders families have been impacted by this event. A special page to collect donations for West has been set up at www.dallasstairclimb.com/help4west. The group hopes to raise $20,000 as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday $1,120 had been raised.
Looking for a Friend or Loved One?
People can call the following emergency number for information on family and loved ones after 9 a.m. Thursday: 254-286-4155. Additionally, the American Red Cross also offers a "Safe and Well" listing service that allows people to register and let loved ones quickly know their condition. Click here to access that website. Additionally, Perry said the American Red Cross is offering information on family members via 211.
Shelters for Victims
Courtesy of NBC affiliate KCEN-TV in Waco, here is a list of shelters for those affected by the explosion in West:
A Google document for temporary housing for victims of the explosion has also been created. Those who wish to offer housing can do so by filling out this form.
This story will be updated with additional ways you can help the victims of the West fertilizer plant explosion..