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Monday, April 15, 2013

Helpful Information About Boston + How You Can Help

In light of the recent events in Boston, C.E.M. has shut down for the day.  Our hearts, minds and prayers are with the victims and their families.

We encourage PR professionals, business owners and brands to be mindful while sharing on Social Media and otherwise today. Keep in mind sensitivity is at an all time high.

We wanted to share some valuable information for those searching for it.

How you can help

House someone who is displaced! has set up a Google Doc for those who need a place to stay or have a place to house runners who can't get back to their hotels or fly out of the city.

Officials are recommending you try texting loved ones, as bandwidth issues are clogging cell reception. If you still can't get through, the Boston Police has provided two phone numbers. If you're looking for family members, call 617-635-4500. To report information: 800-494-TIPS.

Google's Person Finder: Boston Marathon Explosions is another resource. It provides two services: "I'm looking for someone" and "I have information about someone," and allows people to cross-check their info.

The American Red Cross also provides a "Safe andWell" page, where people without phone access can register to let friends and relatives know they're okay.

If those don't provide results, you can try the BostonMarathon's Athlete Tracker, and type in your person's name. It should show what time the runner finished and help you gauge where they were at the time of the explosions.

Where you can donate blood:

If you're in Boston and looking for a way to help, try theRed Cross for a list of locations where they accept blood donations. One center not far from the explosions is on 274 Tremont Street. It may be useful to call ahead and ask about capacity — 617-556-2200.

You can also call ahead to Boston Hospitals, listed here, to find out if they need blood as well. 

Where to go for facts:

If you're overwhelmed by the onslaught of (sometimes dubious) reports coming through Twitter and news sites, check out The BostonPolice Department's Twitter feed for quick reliable updates as they come in.

Additionally, the New York Times has removed its paywall and is allowing people to access all stories about the marathon as they develop. And the Boston Globe — the city's biggest newspaper — is providing wall-to-wallcoverage, and has tons of reporters and photographers on the ground.

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