People in the Boston area, and those close to people possibly affected by today's explosions there, are understandably worried about their ability to find or communicate with each other. As a result, a number of organizations have created resources to help. This is a collection of several of them.
Tracking friends and family
For those trying to track down people they worry might have been victims of the explosions, there are at least two people finders. First is one set up by Google, and a second comes from the Red Cross. A third service is a list of runners who checked in after completing the Boston Marathon. The explosions occurred at the race's finish line.
Many people in the Boston area also are wondering where they can donate blood. Boston's Mass General hospital has a donation center. But the eastern Massachusetts Red Cross, which was originally accepting donations, has now asked the public to schedule future donations after getting more than it could handle.
The Boston Globe also has set up a special page on its Web site where it is aggregating news and public commentary about today's tragedy.
Law enforcement asking for photos and videos
Meantime, police and other law enforcement officials likely have an unprecedented amount of potential evidence they can use in their investigation into what happened today and who is responsible. The Boston Police Department is asking the public for any video of the race's finish line. It's likely that the number of people shooting photos and videos of the race's end means that a wealth of evidence could be available to law enforcement.
Places for runners to stay
Meanwhile, those who came into town for the marathon and who now have no place to stay have at least a couple of options. First, the Boston Globe has put together a Google doc where people can offer up rooms to those in town for the marathon who need a place to stay.
Free IP phone calls
Some people were unable to make cell phone calls as a result of too much demand. Twilio, a company with a cloud communications platform, put up a service allowing anyone to make a free ten-minute Internet phone call to friends or family.
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