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Bill Curnow Of American Red Cross Says Overabundance Of West, Texas Donations May Create New Disaster [AUDIO]

Ariel Walden,

On Monday’s edition of Lubbock’s First News, Bill Curnow of the American Red Cross talked with Tom Collins and Laura Mac about the latest going on with the recovery efforts in West, Texas.

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After a fertilizer plant exploded in the town of West, Texas last week, donations and offers of help has been flooding the small town. But, according to Curnow, while it’s natural for people to want to help out in times of tragedy, sometimes donating too much can create an entirely new disaster.

It’s what we call the disaster within the disaster, the natural tendency of human compassion to start giving whatever’s laying around. Like, “Oh gosh, I know they need blankets, they need pillows, they need socks. I have extra I’ll give them.” And that creates a giant logistical nightmare for people on the ground. Items have to be cleaned and sorted and transported, and you’re pulling volunteers and paid responders away from the very immediate necessary tasks to now have to coordinate what we call these in-kind donations.”

Curnow added that, for the time being, the immediate needs of the town of West, like shelter and food, have been met. Now, the focus can start shifting to long-term healing of the town. But if people still wish to donate, Curnow strongly recommends people donate money to organizations like Red Cross or the National Disaster Relief fund as opposed to in-kind donation like clothing and food.

Be sure and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac weekdays from 6 AM to 8:30 AM on NewsTalk 790 KFYO and online at

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