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When tragedies strike, communities gather together and wonder how they can help their neighbors in need. After yesterday’s natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, many have wondered how they can lend a hand.

First, authorities have confirmed at least four deaths and 38 homes destroyed by the explosion and ensuing fire. At the time of this writing, the search for additional victims is 75% complete. Therefore, if you live in the area, it is important to contact the authorities to confirm that you are OK. Do so by calling the safety line at (650) 616-7180.

Second, if you would like to help, area blood banks desperately need blood donations, particularly O-negative blood (the universal donor). Call (888) 393-4483 or visit Area blood centers will be open this weekend.

Finally, Bay Area Salvation Army stores are accepting donations of clothing and other items to help those who lost their belongings in the fire.

Please check back here for updates on other ways to help as they become available.

PG&E is investigating the cause of the explosion and offering semi-regular updates on their Twitter page.

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