Monday, October 9, 2017

Coloradans Supporting Las Vegas

It has been a week since the Las Vegas music festival shooting on October 1, 2017. Las Vegas, a city known for glitter and glamour was hit hard with 59 fatalities and 500 injured. Within the first 24 hours, Red Cross responders from Colorado were on the way to help.

Mass casualty events are difficult no matter what the circumstance is but when you are dealing with the nation’s worst shooting disaster in history many people would turn the other way. The Red Cross turns toward the people in need and in this case local volunteers were on the ground as early as 5 a.m. on Monday.

Meanwhile in Colorado, the word went out to a small group to provide immediate support. Flights were booked and arrangements were made for a quick response. The teams arrived late Monday and hit the ground running on Tuesday. Experts from Disaster Mental Health, Government Relations, Public Affairs and Community Partners.

Dan Mosley served as the lead for the Disaster Mental Health teams who have been working one-on-one with the survivors and the families in the community and at the Family Assistance Center. “This is a healing place,” Mosley said about the Family Assistance Center. “We wanted it to be a place where people felt safe so that they could open up about their experience and concerns.”

The Colorado team, part staff and part volunteer moved quickly to support our friends in Las Vegas. According to Mike Masto, regional disaster officer, “They would do the same for us because we are one Red Cross.”

By the end of the first week, Red Cross mental health professionals and health services responders had met with more than 2,200 people and Red Cross caseworkers had opened nearly 140 support cases for people affected by the tragedy.
(L-R) Bill Fortune, Pat Chappel, Dan Mosley, Julianna Lockte,
Mike Masto and Steve Kay. Not shown but also
on the team: Yadira Rodriguez

Local Red Cross Supports Hurricane Efforts and Home Fires

In the last six weeks, the American Red Cross has launched a wide-ranging relief effort to help people devastated by three historic, back-to-back hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The Red Cross is on the ground, part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to communities turned upside down by these three Category 4 storms. 

Overall Response Efforts
·         In the last six weeks, the Red Cross, along with community and government partners, has provided more than 1.2 million (1,250,000) overnight stays in emergency shelters. Shelters were opened in 8 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 


  • For Harvey, more than 426,000 overnight shelter stays in Texas and Louisiana.
  • For Irma, more than 647,000 overnight shelter stays across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  •  For Maria, more than 177,000 overnight stays in primarily government shelters across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
·         The Red Cross has served more than 6.2 million (6,265,000) meals and snacks, and provided more than 2.8 million (2,855,000) relief items to people in need. Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 170,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected.

·         A total of more than 15,000 trained disaster workers, 91 percent of them volunteers, have been mobilized to support hurricane relief efforts. Many of these workers have supported multiple relief operations or deployed multiple times. In addition, nearly 6,000 spontaneous local volunteers have worked alongside the 
     Red Cross in Texas and Florida.
     More than 100 Red Cross workers from
     around the world deployed to the 
     United States to help with hurricane relief efforts. Right now, more than 2,700 Red Cross disaster workers and more than 250 emergency response vehicles are on the ground, helping thousands of people affected by these storms.

Locally, our teams have deployed more than 200 volunteers to support these large operations across the country. We are thankful for not only the volunteers who have been willing and able to respond to hurricane relief, but for those who have stayed here at home to support the local efforts. In September our local teams helped 219 people who experienced the very real disaster of home fires. 
*See the full story in this previous post: Help for 219 People During September, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Help for 219 People During September, 2017

American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming, October 5, 2017- The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming responded to more than 100 calls in September, an increase of more than 140% of those experienced during the month of August. Of the 219 people helped by Red Cross, more than 84 were children under the age of 18, while several of those assisted were age 65 or older.
“The American Red Cross is not only responding here at home to these local disasters, we are also able to support hurricane relief efforts and other heartbreaking disasters across multiple states, because of the generosity of donors who make it possible for us to send volunteers and meet peoples’ immediate needs of shelter, food, water, and comfort,” said Gino Greco, CEO for American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming.                                                                                                                      

Breakdown of the CO & WY 87 county service area:
Mile High Chapter (MHC): 140 individuals received aid; more than 60 were under 18 years old. The MHC response area includes 10 counties in the Denver Metro area.

Southeastern Colorado Chapter (SeCO): 23 individuals received aid; Three were under 18 years old while two were age 65 or older. The SeCO response area includes 16 counties.

Northern Colorado Chapter (NoCO): 16 individuals received aid; Nine were under 18 years old. The NoCO response area includes 11 counties.

Western Colorado Chapter (WeCO): 30 individuals received aid. Ten of those helped were under 18 years old and 7 over the age of 65. The WeCO response area covers 27 counties, serving all western Colorado and the San Luis Valley.

Wyoming Chapter: 10 individuals received aid; Three were under age 18 and 1 over the age of 65. The Wyoming Chapter response area covers all 23 counties that make up the state of Wyoming.

The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Restoring Family Links after a Hurricane

UPDATED: September 22, 2017 with Video from Puerto Rico 

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and thus Hurricane Maria is classified as a domestic disaster response. For individuals that are trying to reconnect with their loved ones on Puerto Rico (or other US territory), please utilize the Red Cross Safe & Well program,

When conducting a search one needs 2 of 3 required pieces of info:

First Name & Last Name
Phone Number OR Home Address

Because addresses in Puerto Rico are written differently than United States, we recommend only doing searches via telephone. Note: try different phone numbers, such as cell, landline, work, etc. as the search is dependent on what the individual used to register. Additionally you may find last names to be hyphenated or not, try different versions when searching if no results found in one search parameter.

If the sought person is vulnerable (i.e. health concerns, mental health concerns, elderly, unaccompanied minor, mobility concerns, etc.) then an Emergency Welfare Inquiry MAY be initiated. There is additional information that the Red Cross would need to acquire. Should you discover that an Emergency Welfare Inquirer is needed, feel free to reach out to your local Red Cross Chapter for additional guidance. 

We encourage individuals to continue to try to communicate with their loved ones via traditional means (telephone, texting, social media, email, etc.) and to try during off-peak times, etc. Visit for more information on ways Red Cross can help reconnect you with your loved ones. 

Here is a current update from the islands and the Red Cross response in these first days.

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - Now that Hurricane Irma has impacted the islands in the Caribbean we know that people are concerned about loved ones that they may have lost contact with. Here is some information that might be helpful when searching for those people.
Keep calling, sending text messages and trying to connect via email or social media; calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines.

Contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought person.

Situation Overview

The islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten (Dutch territory) as well as the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy (French territory) have been hit by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017 leaving widespread damage. The communications infrastructure on the islands has been heavily damaged.

Restoring Family Links Response

The Dutch territories of Saba, St Eustatius, and St Maarten, fall within the jurisdiction of the Netherlands Red Cross. The Netherlands Red Cross has launched a Safe and Well website:

The Safe and Well website facilitates communication from inside the disaster-affected areas to family members outside the disaster areas. 

The Netherlands Red Cross is actively engaged in assisting individuals on the islands to register on the site as ‘Safe and Well’. Inquirers must provide the sought person’s name and the sought person’s address or phone number in order to search the list of those who have self-registered and view any "safe and well" messages that they may have left for their loved-ones. The website is available in English and Dutch. At the present time, the Netherlands Red Cross is not able to conduct active tracing on the ground, and therefore traditional tracing inquiries are NOT accepted at this time.

The French territories of St Martin and St Barthelemy fall within the jurisdiction of the French Red Cross. At the present time, Tracing inquiries are NOT accepted. For the time being, please advise inquirers concerned about relatives on St Martin or St Barthelemy to contact the French authorities at +331 82 71 03 37.

Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens (on foreign land, i.e. US Citizen in Cuba) should be referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 and

Inquiries concerning U.S. territory (i.e. USVI, Puerto Rico, continental USA, etc.) should be referred to American Red Cross Safe and Well website. Website: Individuals can search for loved ones based upon entering 2 of 3 components (Full Name AND Phone Number OR Address). In the event that the sought person may be part of vulnerable population, a health and welfare check can potentially be initiated.

Domestic Disaster Emergency Welfare Inquiry and Family Reunification Request can be invoked, especially for vulnerable populations, please see for forms to invoke a Welfare Inquiry. Vulnerable can include, but not limited to: health concerns; mental health concerns; mobility concerns; unaccompanied minors; and elderly. The form must be completed and submitted by Red Cross so contact you local Red Cross chapter.

Remember to keep calling, sending text messages and trying to connect via email or social media; calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines. Try to contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought person.

During a disaster the free Red Cross mobile app, Emergency, can help you stay in touch with family and loved ones. Download the app from or your preferred app vendor.