You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

American Red Cross and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Prepare for Papal Visit


PHILADELPHIA, September 23, 2015   — The American Red Cross, in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), has established a multi-agency call center located at the Norristown State Hospital in Montgomery Township during Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia.

They have also activated a toll-free number (1-855-259-2114) that people can use if they become separated from friends and family.

The Red Cross is mobilizing resources and people to support humanitarian needs that may arise during the Pope’s visit. Red Cross workers will be providing support such as water and reunification services for people separated from loved ones amid the large crowds. 

In partnership with Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, the Red Cross will be operating 12 Family Reunification Stations from Friday, September 25 until Monday, September 28.

As part of normal preparations for a large-scale public event, the Red Cross is also taking steps to reinforce the community’s ability to respond to disasters of all sizes. Red Cross experts have been working to put in place contingency plans so that normal emergency support services can continue.  This includes providing help and shelter for people after home fires or other disasters. The Red Cross is also mobilizing to be ready to provide shelter, comfort and assistance in the event of an incident affecting large numbers of visitors.  

The Family Reunification Stations will offer information on the Red Cross “Safe and Well” website for people separated from their family. The website is a central location for people in disaster areas to register their current status, and for their loved ones to access that information. It helps provide displaced families with relief and comfort during a stressful time. To register visit

When humanitarian needs arise, the Red Cross delivers help to whoever needs it. This includes providing food, shelter, and emotional support without regard to race, religion, citizenship status or political beliefs.

For more information on how to prepare for all types of emergencies, people can visit or contact the Eastern Pennsylvania Region at 215-299-4000.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. 



To get breaking news and updates follow the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Region on twitter @ARC_EasternPA