How to help Boston Marathon victims

Boston Marathon runners Lisa Kresky-Griffin and Tammy Snyder embrace at the barricaded entrance at Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston...
Boston Marathon runners Lisa Kresky-Griffin and Tammy Snyder embrace at the barricaded entrance at Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston...
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Authorities in Boston turned to the public for help following the deadly bombs that killed three and injured over 170. Investigators asked spectators of the Boston Marathon to send cell phone video and photos that might provide some clues.

At a press conference, President Obama praised the first responders and good Samaritans on the ground who came to the rescue of the injured. “If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that’s it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid,” he said during a press conference at the White House on Tuesday.

The investigation is still in the earliest of stages. Here are some ways you can help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, locate loved ones, donate blood and help authorities in the investigation:

Assistance finding a loved one

In emergency situations, it can be challenging to locate a family member or friend. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Office encouraged Americans looking to check on the status of their loved ones to try these steps:

  • Call the Boston Mayor’s Hotline (617-635-4500) for information about individuals who may have been injured.
  • Google set a up a Boston Marathon Person Finder page for those looking for someone or those who have information about someone. It’s currently tracking more then 5,000 people.
  • Phones have been bogged down in the Boston-area from the sheer volume of calls following the emergency. So try texting if you’re having trouble getting through on the phone.

Are you okay after the attacks? Say so

Don’t keep it to yourself—get on record with officials and friends.

  • To help keep track and locate victims, The Red Cross urged those who were attending the Boston Marathon or those in the surrounding area to register on the “Safe and Well” list. Family members can also access this information.
  • Posting your status on social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, also helps spread the word on your whereabouts.

Send in tips, cell phone video, photos

If you see something, say something. In the age of smartphones, the Boston Marathon was in no shortage of photographers and cameras at the time of the incident. And many who attended might have snapped a picture with a piece of evidence and not even know it.

  • Witnesses or those who may have information should call the Boston Police Department (1-800-494-8477).
  • If you have any visual images, like photos or video, or other information that could shed light on the deadly attacks, call the FBI’s hotline (1-800-CALL-FBI —prompt #3). The FBI said on its website, “no detail is too small.”

Offer housing to someone who is displaced

Google set up a helpful Doc page to organize housing for runners or visitors in town for the Boston Marathon who need an immediate place to stay.

Schedule a time to donate blood in the future

Don’t rush to give blood just yet in Boston. There is “enough blood on shelves to meet demand,” according to a tweet from the organizations. As an alternative, American Red Cross spokeswoman Anne Marie Borrego told NBC News that scheduling a time in the future to give blood would be the best way to get involved right now.

How to help Boston Marathon victims