When disasters strike, loved ones can become separated or lose contact with relatives affected by the disaster.
Those who have been affected by a disaster can register or search for others on the Safe and Well website where loved ones can search for information.
Safe and Well is always available. During large-scale disasters like Hurricane Sandy, when internet and phone lines may be compromised, trained Red Cross volunteers can help people register using a paper form. Privacy is preserved. No specific location or contact information is displayed unless participants choose to do so in a custom message. People will need to know names and addresses or phone numbers in order to see a post.
Those having trouble reaching their loved ones in a disaster area, try searching on Safe and Well.
1. Visit www.redcross.org/
safeandwell and click "Search Registrants."
2. Enter the loved one's full name and then choose Option 1 - search by phone number - or Option 2 - search by complete home address.
3. Click "Search Entries."
4. Results will only show a loved one's name, the date and time of registration and the messages they chose to share - just enough information to provide peace of mind until normal communications can be restored.
5. If a loved one is not listed, and if they had a serious, pre-existing health or mental health condition, contact the local Red Cross to initiate an Emergency Welfare Inquiry.
Those who are ever in a situation to register themselves in Safe and Well should follow these steps:
1. Visit www.redcross.org
2. Click "List Myself as Safe and Well" and enter information into all required fields.
3. Select at least one of the standard messages for posting, i.e., "I am safe and well," "Family and I are safe and well," "I am at a shelter," "I am currently at home."
4. Enter a custom message, of up to 255 characters, to further tell the story.
5. Click "Submit." The registration will now be available to those who search. They will only see names, the date and time of the registration and the messages chosen to share. The registration will automatically drop from the system after one year.
For more information on Safe and Well, visit www.redcross.org/swny. The American Red Cross of Southwestern NY is a United Way agency.