Earthquake In Italy: How The Red Cross Is Responding

By now you’ve likely heard about the earthquake in Italy early this morning. 
Here’s a quick update on how the Italian Red Cross is responding:

– Italian Red Cross rescue teams were on the scene of the disaster within an hour after the earthquake struck, searching for people trapped in the rubble and providing emergency care for the injured. It is presently scaling up personnel and equipment in the affected area to reinforce capacity for search and rescue.

– The Italian Red Cross is on full alert and active in health, first aid, logistics and humanitarian relief. It has established a field hospital to relieve the burden on local health facilities which are under an enormous strain due to the sudden upsurge in demand. Also, it has set up mobile kitchens with the capacity to provide 10,000 meals a day run by a team of 16 Italian Red Cross staff and 30 volunteers. Two soup kitchens providing up to 400 meals a day have been mobilized to respond to the needs of L’Aquila Hospital, whose patients are being evacuated to other cities.
– Thirty-six ambulances from the Italian Red Cross are on rotation to evacuate injured people from L’Aquila to hospitals in Tagliacozzo, Pescina and Avezzano. They are also providing care for children evacuated from an orphanage in San Gregorio. Additionally, five psychological support teams from the Italian Red Cross are on the ground to help meet the emotional needs of survivors.
– Additional resources, including 30 search and rescue dog units, five more psychological support teams and three veterinary teams, are on standby.
Although the Italian Red Cross has not yet requested international assistance, the American Red Cross stands ready to help if needed.
(Photo: Chris Helgren/REUTERS/courtesy