When an emergency occurs, it’s important that everyone in your household knows how they will get in touch with each other. Whether it be a fire in your home, or a large disaster affecting your community, it’s vital that you have a plan on how to reunite with household members, and that everyone is familiar with the plan.
For instance, disasters don’t always occur when everyone is at home. You may be at work, your children in school, others may be at home, or the family pets are there. Being able to reunite with loved ones is critical after a disaster. Many times, a separated or missing family member, a lost pet, service or support Animal, can cause someone to skip securing their own shelter, food and other immediate needs in order to reconnect with their loved ones, not to mention the emotional toll it can take.
Individual family plans on how to reunite with loved ones might include using texts, emails, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others. Local governments, school systems and non-government organizations may also have plans to help find a missing or lost family member.
MAKE A PLAN With your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and how you will work together as a team. Practice your plan. There are Red Cross plan templates available here to help.
Make sure your plan includes the following:
TIPS FOR CONTACTING LOVED ONES
RESTORING FAMILY LINKS The American Red Cross can also help your family members reconnect, whether the separation was caused by a recent emergency here at home, war or natural disaster overseas, or events as far back as the Holocaust. Our Restoring Family Links program can leverage the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network to reach across borders to find family members who have been separated due to war, disaster, migration or other emergency. Learn more here.
ASSISTANCE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES The American Red Cross Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with two options for requesting assistance: online and by phone. You can initiate a request for Red Cross emergency assistance for members of the military currently serving on active duty by using the online self-service tool. Using a computer, smart phone or tablet, you can start a request for services and track its progress from anywhere in the world. To speak to a Red Cross Emergency Communications Specialist call: 877-272-7337.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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