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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, www.safeandwell.org

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 www.redcross.org 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.


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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: https://ikbenveilig.nl

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 http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/overseas-citizens-services.shtml.

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: www.safeandwell.org. 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 www.safeandwell.org 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 www.redcross.org/apps or your preferred app vendor.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Responding to the Call for Disaster Relief - 2017 Hurricane Response

Friday, September 22, 2017 - In the last month, 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 part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to communities turned upside down by these three category 4 storms.


·        In the last four weeks, the Red Cross along with community and government partners have provided nearly 1 million (985,000) overnight stays in emergency shelters due to hurricanes. 

     Shelters were opened in 8 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Red Cross has served more than 3.6 million meals and snacks, and provided more than 1 million relief items to people in need. Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 108,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected.

·         More than 5,300 Red Cross disaster workers and more than 330 emergency response vehicles – nearly our entire vehicle fleet – are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these storms.

     From here in the Colorado & Wyoming region, there are now more than 150 local volunteers deployed to support the multiple operations across the country. At this time we will no longer be posting the names of every volunteer to the blog updates as the list has become impressively long. We thank them for their service and willingness to leave the comforts of home to respond to this unprecedented need. We are also thankful to all our volunteers who make it possible for us to continue providing service here at home as we respond to the daily call fro help from home fires.
     
     See the most current video update from Puerto Rico here.




----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - Hurricane Irma continues to move toward Florida with landfall on Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Red Cross has already mobilized equipment, supplies and disaster responders at a staging area in Orlando, FL.
Noon MDT 090617 from NOAA/National Hurricane Center

While nearly 70 disaster responders from Colorado and Wyoming have been deployed to the Texas Gulf Coast for Hurricane Harvey Relief, we have also deployed ten of our disaster responders to the Orlando staging area ahead of Hurricane Irma landfall. The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers and deploying truckloads of relief supplies to support this response effort. Shelter supplies for 120,000 people are on the way to help people impacted with Irma, along with 100,000 shelf-stable meals and almost 80 emergency response vehicles.

In addition to those listed below the following volunteers are heading to Florida:
From Southeastern Colorado
Keith Mercantel - Shelter Supervisor
Gregory Adkins - Shelter Worker
Cathleen Smith - Shelter Worker
John Hartling - Shelter Worker

From Northern Colorado
Sierra Horner - Shelter Worker
Christy Lard - Shelter Worker
Donald Nelson -  Shelter Worker

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Irma relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check

If you have people in Florida that you are concerned about you can advise them to download the Red Cross mobile app, Emergency. Using the app can help you stay in contact with those people in Florida. You can also get near realtime information concerning the Hurricane by using the free Emergency app. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

To get updates on Hurricane Irma and the Red Cross response visit www.redcross.org.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Even while our disaster response is in full swing in Texas with over 3,000 responders on the ground in the disaster zone, our teams are gearing up to support relief efforts, should they be needed with Hurricane Irma.



Hurricane Irma forecast track from Sep 5, 2017
Courtesy NOAA/NHC
Hurricane Irma went up to a category 5 hurricane Sunday night and most recent forecasts have the
storm moving across the Florida Keys this weekend. Our disaster responders are already being put on standby so that they are ready to move quickly if the forecast track proves true.

Four disaster responders from Colorado are packing bags for deployment. They will travel to Orlando that is serving as a staging area for Red Cross deployments:

Southeastern Colorado
Douglas Van Allen - Sheltering Supervisor
Delbert Hayden - Shelter worker

Northern Colorado
David West - Shelter worker

Western Colorado
Jenny Roberts - Shelter worker