With the deadly tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on Sunday afternoon, friends and family are desperately trying to make sure their loved ones are accounted for. With many disasters happening across the country, the Red Cross Safe and Well website is one way for people to check on loved ones in areas where disaster has hit.
Safe and Well allows people in the affected areas to list themselves as “safe and well” online whether they are in a shelter, staying with friends, or if they are moving to another location. Friends and family outside the disaster area can then search for messages from their loved ones by using a pre-disaster phone number or complete address. Disaster victims can also update their Facebook and Twitter status through the Safe and Well website.
You can either register yourself or search for a registered family member on Safe and Well by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Safe and Well can also be accessed from a smart phone by going to www.redcross.org/safeandwell and click on either “List Yourself as Safe and Well” or “Search Registrants”.
Communication is key before, during and after a disaster. Make certain you have a plan with your family members that may be dispersed throughout the country before a disaster hits. Remember that communications may be overloaded or down completely after a disaster. Utilizing resources like Safe and Well, social media, and email can help you get a message to your loved ones quickly, but it is only effective if they know where to check for your updates in case of a disaster.