Safe and Well – Helping to Reconnect Families and Loved Ones

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After a disaster, like the recent tornadoes we have seen, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier.  

About Safe and Well 

When disasters strike, loved ones can become separated. If you have been affected by a disaster, you can register yourself on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website.

Family and friends can search the list of  those who have registered themselves. A successful search will bring up a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.

“Safe & Well is a simple and easy tool that everyone needs to be aware of.  When disasters strike our normal ways of communicating with each other may be disrupted.  Individuals can register themselves on the website, or Red Cross can do it for them, and family members can search to see if their loved one is okay after the disaster,” said Nick Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager.  

“When I deployed with Red Cross to Alabama in 2011 for tornadoes, and to Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey I saw first-hand how people became disconnected, and the Safe & Well website helped to bring those people back together.”

Always Available

Safe and Well is always available. Access to the Website is made available at shelters, service delivery sites and many partner agency locations. During large-scale disasters, when Internet and phone lines may be compromised, trained volunteers can help you register using a paper form.

Privacy

Your privacy is preserved. No specific location or contact information is displayed unless you choose to do so in your custom message. People will need to know your name and address or phone number in order to see your post.

Integration with Social Media

Do you use Facebook or Twitter? After registering, you can click on these icons to post your selected messages right on your Facebook or Twitter page. And your loved ones won’t need to remember any logins or passwords to see that you are safe

For more information or to search for a loved one go to: redcross.org/safeandwell  

Down the Road & Across the Globe the Red Cross is There!

New South Wales Bushfires

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The Australian Red Cross is currently supporting people in evacuation centres in Springwood, Lithgow and North Richmond.We are expecting these to close down over the coming days. The recovery centre in Springwood remains open and we are assisting people as they come into the centre seeking advice on the next steps they should take.

Red Cross is currently supporting people in evacuation centres in North Richmond. The recovery centre in Springwood remains open and we are assisting people as they come into the centre seeking advice on the next steps they should take.

More than 120 Red Cross volunteers and staff have been involved in the response and most of them have completed multiple shifts. Additional teams are standing at the ready across the Western Sydney region. We are assessing the wellbeing of staff and volunteers to ensure they are ok and sending in fresh teams to continue with the relief work.

Red Cross is also assisting people to find out about the safety of family and friends – people can register as evacuees or inquire online through the National Registration and Inquiry System 

People who have lost their homes or had property damaged are experiencing stress, exhaustion and are trying to come to terms with an awful reality. Recovering from an emergency is a complex process that may take months, even years to overcome. Red Cross is committed to supporting people on their recovery journey. We talk with people in emergency-affected communities to identify gaps in support and our volunteers work with communities in the days, months and sometimes years after an emergency. Long after the emergency is over, Red Cross helps individuals and communities as they rebuild their lives.

Massive Red Cross Response to Isaac Underway Along Gulf Coast Public’s Help Needed For Costly Relief Operation

The American Red Cross has a massive relief response underway along the Gulf Coast where Isaac’s strong winds and relentless rain are continuing to leave flooded homes and thousands of evacuees in its wake.

Overnight more than 4,700 people stayed in as many as 80 Red Cross or community shelters in seven states. More people may need shelter today as evacuations continue. In addition to staffing shelters, the more than 3,000 Red Cross disaster workers have already served more than 22,000 meals and snacks.

“We need the public’s help,” reported Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. “We expect to be in the Gulf Coast region for weeks helping people recover from Isaac, even as we are still helping people out west affected by wildfires. It’s been a busy summer and our costs are growing by the hour. People can help by donating today.”

People can click or text to donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

MORE HELP ON THE WAY While focusing on providing emergency sheltering and feeding, the Red Cross is also starting to move more volunteers, equipment and relief supplies into communities as the storm exits.

“Before the storm struck, we put workers, equipment, vehicles and trailers full of supplies just outside the impact area,” Shimanski said. “As the storm moves out of some communities, we’re starting to move assistance in and we’ll be providing people with food, water and relief supplies in the days ahead.”

The Red Cross sent 311,000 ready-to-eat meals to the area, and the Southern Baptist Convention has mobile kitchens capable of producing thousands of meals a day prepositioned to serve cooked meals when it is safe to do so. Other community partners assisting along the Gulf include AmeriCorps, Islamic Relief USA, NAACP and the National Baptist Convention USA, helping with things like sheltering, feeding, driving disaster vehicles and logistics.

STAYING SAFE People along the Gulf Coast should follow instructions from officials on when to evacuate and when it’s safe to return home. They can let loved ones know they are safe by either downloading the Red Cross Hurricane App and using the “I’m Safe” button to post a message to their social media accounts, or registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website.

 The hurricane app can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. It also provides important safety information and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The Safe and Well website is secure and people can register by visiting  www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

 

Widespread Flooding in Multiple States as Storm Moves North

WASHINGTON, August 28, 2011 – More than 27,000 people spent Saturday night in shelters opened or supported by the American Red Cross as Hurricane Irene moved up the East Coast. The storm is shaping up to become a large flood relief operation and thousands of people across multiple states have already turned to the Red Cross for help.

“Our main focus right now is providing people with a safe place to stay and food to eat,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “There have been mandatory evacuations all along the East Coast and millions are without power because of this hurricane.”

While it is too early to know the full extent of the storm’s damage, the Red Cross expects to be helping people for the next several weeks.

The Red Cross has relief operations ongoing in more than a dozen states and thousands of disaster workers helping people fromNorth CarolinatoNew England. Every Red Cross feeding truck east of theRocky Mountains- more than 250 – are set to go into neighborhoods as soon as conditions permit. Tens of thousands of pre-packaged meals are in position, and the Red Cross is working with its community partners to have feeding kitchens in place after the storm moves through.

“This is a big response involving multiple states and the response will cost millions,” Shimanski said. If people would like to help, they can click or text to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donations can be made by visiting www.redcross.org or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions can also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or mailed to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

 Irene has already caused the cancellation of more than 50 blood drives, adding up to a loss of approximately 1,500 blood donations along the East Coast. Because each donation can be made into as many as three blood products, this translates to approximately 4,500 blood products not being available for patients who need them. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org.

Those affected by the storm can let friends and family know where they are by registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org. They can also call a family member or friend with internet access and ask them to do their registration.

Red Cross Begins Large Relief Operation

Urges People To Listen To Local Evacuation Orders

Editorial note: Call (202) 303-5551 to speak with an American Red Cross spokesperson on the groundVisit the Red Cross Disaster Online Newsroom for hurricane preparedness and response information, including photos, video and press releases.

Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles are staging near Raleigh NC before Hurricane Irene's expected landfall. ERV crews stocked up Thursday with bottled water and snacks at a local warehouse store.

The American Red Cross has launched a major relief operation all along the eastern seaboard to help people in the path of Hurricane Irene. More than 13,000 people spent Friday night in hundreds of shelters opened across several states. Many more shelters are set to open throughout the weekend as the storm moves to the north.

 “We are putting the full force of the Red Cross behind our response,” said Gail McGovern, Red Cross President and CEO. People need to listen to local authorities and evacuate if told to do so. Many areas could be inaccessible after the storm and first responders won’t be able to get in right away or offer services. People need to leave when told and plan on caring for their loved ones for at least 72 hours.”

Thousands of Red Cross disaster workers are helping people fromNorth CarolinatoNew England. More than 200 emergency response vehicles have been mobilized, and tens of thousands of prepackaged meals moved into the area. Volunteers from partner organizations like AmeriCorps NCCC and the Southern Baptist Convention are working alongside Red Cross volunteers in some areas.

People trying to find a shelter should listen to their local media for shelter locations near them. They can also locate a shelter at www.redcross.org, or by downloading the free Red Cross shelter app on iTunes. Those affected by the storm can let friends and family know where they are by registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org. They can also call a family member or friend with internet access and ask them to do their registration.

Those heading to shelters should bring extra clothing, pillows, blankets, medications, personal hygiene items and important documents. They should remember special items for children infants such as diapers, formulas and toys, along with necessary items for family members who are elderly or disabled. People should not leave their pets behind, but the Red Cross cannot accept pets in its shelters except for service animals for people with disabilities. People should check if organizations are setting up animal shelters. Red Cross chapters have lists of pet-friendly hotels, kennels, veterinarians and animal welfare agencies that can accept pets during a disaster. It’s important to make sure pets are wearing secure collars with up-to-date identification.

Irene has forced the cancellation of dozens of blood collections along the East Coast. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in the affected areas consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

If someone would like to help, they can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. They can also send contributions to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Red Cross Opening Shelters, Mobilizing Equipment

Residents urged to heed evacuation orders.

Hurricane Irene is headed toward the East Coast and the American Red Cross is mobilizing disaster workers and equipment along much of the eastern seaboard to help those in the path of this powerful storm.

Hurricane Irene is predicted to be the largest storm to hit the East Coast in more than 70 years, and could threaten several big population centers. A hurricane watch has been issued for theNorth Carolinacoast and the Red Cross has opened shelters in the state as evacuation orders go into effect. In addition, more than 200 Red Cross mobile feeding vehicles are heading towards the coast to help people in the path of the storm.

“The Red Cross is moving volunteers, vehicles and supplies, getting ready for a response effort that spans nearly the entire East Coast,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “While we’re getting ready at the Red Cross, we want everyone in the storm’s path to get ready as well by getting a disaster kit, making a family emergency plan, and listening to local officials regarding evacuations.”

Dozens of shelters are being prepared all along the East Coast. People can find open Red Cross shelters by viewing an interactive Google map at www.redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross shelter app for their iPhone from the iTunes store. A mobile-friendly version of the Hurricane Safety Checklist is now available for smart phone users to download at www.redcross.org/mobile.

It’s important that those affected by the storm stay in contact with loved ones and the Red Cross Safe and Well website can help them do that. Safe and Well is a secure, easy-to-use online tool to help families connect in an emergency. People can register by visiting the Red Cross web site or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).    

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions could be a threat within 48 hours. An upgrade to a hurricane warning will mean hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Those in the affected area should finish their storm preparations and evacuate if authorities ask them to do so.

Hurricane Irene has caused significant damage in the southern Bahamasand the Bahamas Red Cross is managing shelters and helping people displaced by the storm. A regional disaster management expert is headed to theBahamastoday to assist with disaster assessment and response. In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers as flooding, damage to homes and impassable roads are left in the storm’s wake. The United Nations is reporting hundreds of homes have been damaged and it is difficult to communicate with many localities.

In addition, Irene could affect blood collections along the East Coast at a time when the nation’s blood supply is already low. The Red Cross is urging those who are eligible to give blood prior to the storm’s arrival. Donating blood now, before the storm, will help ensure blood is available in the aftermath of Irene should conditions prohibit people from traveling to blood collections.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit us online at www.redcrossblood.org.

Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) members support Red Cross disaster efforts by pledging donations to the Red Cross in advance of major disasters to ensure an immediate response to help people affected. ADGP members responsible for these generous donations include 3M, Altria Group, Aon, Caterpillar, Cisco Foundation , ConAgra Foods , Costco Wholesale Corporation, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group , FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation , John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Optum, Ryder Charitable Foundation, Southwest Airlines, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare, UPS and Walmart.

American Red Cross disaster preparedness starts long before a hurricane makes landfall, beginning with keeping supplies and equipment on stand-by all year to help people in need. On average, the Red Cross spends about $450 million on disaster relief every year. If someone would like to support Red Cross disaster efforts, they can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending contributions to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Local volunteers continue work in South

There are 23 volunteers from NE WI Region

Volunteers from Northeast Wisconsin are still hard at work assisting tornado victims in the south.

Click on the photo to see the video of this story

That severe weather killed hundreds of people and split up families.

But thanks to local Wisconsin Red Cross workers, they are helping to bring people together to get on with their lives.

Slowly yet surely, residents of Tuscaloosa, Alabama are picking up the shattered pieces.

More than a week after a devastating tornado as many as 25 people were still unaccounted for.

“Going through Tuscaloosa, the hardest hit area, it looks like a bomb went off in parts of the city and there’s nothing left,” said Nick Cluppert, NE Wisconsin Region Red Cross Emergency Management Services Manager assisting in the South.

Cluppert, from Oshkosh, says there have also been signs of hope. He says the American Red Cross has helped to re-connect more than a thousand people with relatives and friends.

The effort is through the Red Cross, safe and well program.

“We actually had to do a home visit to try to locate somebody and we were able to find them,” Cluppert explained. “The family member that had called looking for this individual wasn’t sure if they were in effected area or not, but they couldn’t get a hold of them, so we were able to locate them and report back they were okay.”

Cluppert is among 23 Red Cross volunteers from Northeast Wisconsin currently assisting in the relief efforts down south.

But as the flooding worsens in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, officials say they’ve had to switch gears for volunteers still looking to help.

“On Friday as well as Saturday, we sent 3 individuals down, all 3 went to Tennessee and a husband and wife couple, they actually drove down our Emergency Response vehicle,” explained Red Cross Lakeland Chapter Communications Director, Jody Weyers.

And the severe spring weather has taken a toll on resources.

Last year, the American Red Cross responded to nearly 30 large disasters between March and June.

However, in the past 39 days, the Red Cross has launched 20 separate relief operations nationwide and those include help from local volunteers.

“You kind of get one under control and then something else happens,” Weyers said. “You send individuals out, but disasters don’t stop in your own community.”

And as the need grows, Weyers expects the volunteers to be gone two to three weeks at a time.

UWO to participate in full-scale emergency drill today!

Clow Social Science Center, 805 Algoma Blvd.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the City of Oshkosh and Winnebago County will conduct a full-scale emergency response exercise Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010.

The field portion of the exercise will be focused in and around Clow Social Science Center (805 Algoma Blvd.) on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. Other facilities being used include Reeve Memorial Union (748 Algoma Blvd.), Radford Hall – Student Health (777 Algoma Blvd.), parking lots around Clow and additional emergency operations centers operating at several off-campus locations. Officials leading the exercise would appreciate if individuals would avoid the area surrounding the Clow classrooms.

Road closures will include Algoma Boulevard at Woodland Avenue to Osceola Street, High Street at Woodland Avenue to Osceola Street, and Osceola Street at Pearl Avenue. Closures will run from 8 – 11:30 a.m.

 

The exits for parking lots that empty onto High Street or Algoma Boulevard will be blocked until 11:30 a.m. In the event of an emergency need to leave those parking lots, contact University Police at 424-1212.

The exercise will involve emergency personnel and vehicles from local law enforcement agencies, including the University Police. Set-up for the exercise will begin at 6 a.m. and the exercise is scheduled to end by 12:30 p.m.

More than 300 participants, including local and county law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, hospital staff and volunteer “victim” actors, will participate. The full-scale exercise will offer UW Oshkosh, first response agencies and local jurisdictions the means to test their skills in real-time, to gain the in-depth knowledge that only this type of realistic experience can provide and to build coordinated capacity for incident response.

Agencies participating in the exercise include the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (including Police, Administration and Counseling), Winnebago County (including Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Department/Dispatch and Public Information), Oshkosh Fire/EMS and Police Departments, Neenah Police Department, Menasha Police Department, Appleton Police Department,  Mercy Medical Center, Aurora Hospital and the American Red Cross.

The drill will involve a high degree of realism, including actors posing as “victims” who may appear to be injured. Members of the community traveling in the area may see police officers with weapons drawn and hear gunshots; this activity will be clustered in and immediately outside of Clow only. Reeve and Radford will be used only by volunteer “victim” actors.

Be aware that all weapons will be thoroughly checked by trained exercise safety officers and will only fire “simunition” training rounds. These rounds sound like gunfire but do not project a bullet only a tiny, colored soap pellet. Be assured that all registered exercise participants will be provided eye protection and all other safety gear required for their level of activity but that it is critical that other people not associated with the exercise stay away from the area.

Signs will be posted explaining that the activity is only an exercise and participants will be clearly indicated.

American Red Cross Unveils New, Improved Technology to Help the Public During Disasters

In preparation for the height of what could be a very active hurricane season, the American Red Cross has unveiled new and updated technology to help families stay safe and reconnect during a disaster.

“Every day, millions of people use the web to connect with friends and family, and the Red Cross is using the same technology to help people prepare for, stay safe and connect with loved ones during an emergency,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. “And we’re very excited to have both an improved Safe and Well site and a real-time way to find shelter locations this hurricane season.”

Safe and Well is a secure and easy-to-use online tool that allows people inside a disaster-affected area to list themselves as “safe and well” and for loved ones to search for these messages. Launched in 2006, the redesigned site now allows people to customize messages for loved ones and update their Facebook and Twitter statuses right from the site. In addition, a new mobile version of the site will make it easy for people to register or search from a smart phone.

Linking Safe and Well to Facebook and Twitter is an important step for the site and those who use it. In a recent Red Cross online survey, nearly half of all respondents said they would use social media sites to let their loved ones know they are safe in an emergency. Facebook was the most popular choice, named by 86 percent of those who would use social media to reassure their loved ones. Now, the Red Cross makes it easy to register on Safe and Well, and at the same time, participate in social media.

There are several ways to register on or search the Safe and Well site. From a computer, visit http://www.redcross.org and click on the “List Yourself or Search Registrants” link under “How to Get Help.” From a smart phone, visit http://www.redcross.org/safeandwell and click on the “List Yourself as Safe and Well” or “Search for friends and family” link. From any phone, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and one of our operators can help you register.

The Red Cross “Find Shelter” tool pulls information from the National Shelter System and allows people to view a Google map of open Red Cross shelter locations and search for shelters closest to their location.

To access shelter information, visit http://www.redcross.org and click on the “Find Shelter” link. Shelters that are currently open will be displayed on the map or in the search results. The National Shelter System is owned and operated by the Red Cross and used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state and local governments, and other community agencies to track and report shelter information.

Both Safe and Well and the National Shelter System are two important tools the Red Cross uses year round to help the public during emergencies. In an average year, the Red Cross spends $450 million responding to and preparing for more than 70,000 disasters around the nation.

*Online Survey of 1,058 respondents representative of the US population aged 18 and older. Survey conducted by Infogroup | ORC