In Wake of Typhoon, Organization Activates its Family Tracing Services
DUBOIS – Since Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Pacific islands of the Philippines on Friday, the global Red Cross network has been responding to emergency needs for food, water and relief supplies, and the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this massive effort.
Additionally, recognizing that communications capabilities throughout the region have been significantly damaged, the American Red Cross has activated the Restoring Family Links service to connect individuals in the area to love ones in the Philippines.
As part of its family tracing services, the Red Cross helps to reconnect families separated by disaster. If people are trying to connect with family members or loved ones in the Philippines, they should keep in mind that many phone lines are down. If they are still unable to reach their loved ones in wake of the typhoon, they can contact their local Red Cross chapter to initiate a family tracing case.
Area residents who wish to request this service should contact their local Red Cross chapter at 814-371-2750.
While relief efforts are well underway, blocked roads, destroyed infrastructure and downed communication lines are making the response particularly challenging. This is typical of major disasters both internationally and in the United States.
The Philippine Red Cross has begun distributions of relief supplies and provided meals to people affected by the storm. However, delivery of supplies in the most affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by damage local infrastructure.
Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are arriving in the Philippines to assist. These include teams which specialize in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.
Four specialists from the American Red Cross are currently on the ground in the Philippines, focusing on assessment and telecommunications. Five additional disaster specialists will be deployed.
How to Learn More, Help
For more information on current relief efforts, or to make a donation to the American Red Cross to support the typhoon response, visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS.