How To Help The NYC Attack Victims & Survivors Right Now
On Tuesday afternoon, a 29-year-old man drove a truck down a busy bike bath in New York City, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 11. While there are still details emerging about the attack, there are plenty of ways to help the New York City victims, survivors, and their families during this time.
There's very little known about the victims and the severity of their injuries, but there are still a myriad of ways in which you can help following a horrific attack like this. Survivors of tragedies have been shown to suffer mentally and emotionally, particularly during the time surrounding the event, according to a study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science. It will also be a difficult time for the families and friends of those who lost their lives in NYC.
Five of the victims were transported via ambulance to Bellevue Hospital for emergency triage, according to CBS. Bellevue is a level-one trauma center and the closest to the scene in New York City. Two were immediately sent to the operating room, CBS reported, but the severity of their injuries and conditions remain unknown. In the meantime, as more details of the victims and survivors emerge, here's what you can do to help.
Firstly, if you're in New York, you can help by donating blood to local banks. Visit the New York Blood Center's site for a list of donor center locations. According to the New York Fire Department, 11 victims have serious, but non-life threatening injuries, which could require surgery. Donating blood could make a difference for these patients. It's also good to do this regularly, not just around the time of a tragedy.
Support Survivors' Recovery
You can also donate to local organizations in New York City, especially ones that provide counseling services. For instance, VCS Inc is a mental health counseling organization for individuals and families. Following a traumatic event like this, survivors will need someone to talk to, particularly in the weeks and months following the attack.
Be Mindful Of Hateful Rhetoric
In the wake of an event like this, during which our president quickly linked the perpetrator to ISIS, it's also important to be aware that a lot of people will be pushing anti-Muslim rhetoric on social media. Be aware of the language you use surrounding this attack, and as usual make sure you're sharing facts and information that's been properly vetted. Since the attack happened recently, a lot of information has yet to be released.
Give Back To NYC Schools
The head of the New York City schools system, Carmen Farina, told the AP that two NYC public school staff members and two students were injured when a school bus was struck by the perpetrator's rented Home Depot truck. Farina said trauma counselors will be provided at the schools on Monday. To help the school system keep up services like these, you can donate to NYC's Fund for Public Schools.
Prevent Legislation That Cuts Emergency Funding
Earlier this year, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Trump's proposed budget cuts would significantly affect funding for anti-terrorism programs in New York City. “The horrible Manchester attack tells us that terrorists and other evil-doers are laser focused on our weak points and still looking to exploit big cities and large events," Schumer said at the time. "In light of these events, it makes absolutely no sense for the just-released Trump budget to cut the anti-terror dollars New York City uses to keep us all safe.” Trump's budget cuts would also deplete anti-terror funds in other cities, including Las Vegas, where there was just a mass shooting.
If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic event like an act of terror, the Office for Victims of Crimes can help you navigate the resources and programs that are at your disposal. And if you have any tips or information concerning the attack in NYC on Thursday, reach out to the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force at fbi.gov/nyctribeca or 1-800-CALLFBI.