As Mexico braces for Hurricane Patricia, more than 500 Mexican Red Cross volunteers are ready to support with first aid, logistics, relief distributions, shelter support and damage assessments. The Mexican Red Cross has pre-positioned 18 emergency response units—including ambulances—around Puerto Vallarta, has positioned thirty tons of relief supplies, and is assisting with community evacuations.
The American Red Cross works closely with the Mexican Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid and assistance during large emergencies. Disaster specialists at the American Red Cross are monitoring the storm closely, remain in close contact with colleagues at the Mexican Red Cross, and are on standby to assist. As in all international disasters, the American Red Cross intervenes only when the national society (in this case, the Mexican Red Cross) requests outside help.
In the past, the American Red Cross has provided aid to families impacted by heavy storms and flooding in Mexico, such as the distribution of kitchen items, household cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene kits in the wake of Hurricanes Manuel and Ingrid, which struck in September 2013. In response to Hurricane Odile—which made landfall in September 2014—the American Red Cross made a financial donation to aid survivors and helped reconnect families of US citizens who were stranded in Mexico. American Red Cross chapters supported the reception of flights with returning tourists in Texas and provided snacks, comfort items, mental health support and calls to reconnect families. Likewise, the Mexican Red Cross makes itself available to aid the American Red Cross during emergencies, which it did during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Individuals trying to get in touch with loved ones impacted by the storm should continue to attempt to contact their loved ones. The following advice may be helpful:
Individuals trying to get in touch with U.S. citizens who may have been in the storm’s path should get in touch with the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 (from the United States and Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (from overseas) and http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies.html
More information and resources will be shared as it becomes available.