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Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath: How We Can Help

A series of explosions less than 50 yards from the finish line of the Boston Marathonhas left two people dead and at least 100 more injured. Details are sketchy about the cause and scope of the explosions, but here are several concrete things you can do right now to help in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy.

(Check back to this page in the coming days as more actions become available.)

1) Concerned about a runner in the marathon? You can see his/her last check in onthe Boston Marathon site. You can also track down a loved one through Google’s Person Finder.

2) If you were in the area, register your current status on the Red Cross Safe and Wellsite. This way, anyone looking for you can see that you’re alive and well. (Also, if you’re in downtown Boston right now, text message loved ones instead of calling. In this critical moment, it’s important to keep open as much cell phone bandwidth as possible.)

3) Donate blood. It’s important not just now, but always. You can make sure your city has enough blood in the event of a disaster by donating regularly. (In Boston?Here’s where you go.) Right now, there is plenty of donated blood in Boston to meet demand, according to the American Red Cross.

4) The Boston Mayor’s 24-hour hotline is 617-635-4500. That’s the number to call for information about first responders. If you were in the area and saw anything, and feel like you might have information that’s helpful to investigators, call 1-800-494-TIPS.

5) In you live in Boston and have extra space in your home, consider providing temporary lodging for those in the area who are stranded due to the bombing. You can fill out this form if you’re stuck in Boston and need a place to stay, as well.

6) One of the bombs reportedly detonated near a VIP area for families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. You can still make a donation to the Newtown Memorial Fund as families work to recover from that tragedy. Here are some other ways to support Newtown families. (Note: It is unclear if the Newtown families were in any way targeted in the attack.)

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