Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Your Family Safe and Well?

redcrossRecently my husband and I have signed up to be Red Cross volunteers here in the United States. This involves attending training seminars and online courses which are very informative on a personal level as well as on a volunteer level. This past week we attended a training session called Safe and Well Linking Overview which introduced us to the Safe and Well website which was created after the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

According to the website:

“After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier. 

Register Yourself as “Safe and Well”
Click on the “List Myself as Safe and Well” button to register yourself on the site.

Search for Loved Ones
Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.”

I thought this whole concept was so wonderful that I couldn’t wait to share it with my family members. My husband and I have registered on this site already. My elderly parents live in southern Florida and I’m always worried about them even more during hurricane season. With their permission, I registered them on this site also. Even though they don’t have a computer, if they had to go to a Red Cross shelter, they can tell the volunteers to go to their status and update it for them. My sister and her family who live in New York are also going to register on the site because memories of 9/11 are still in the back of their minds.

To register on this site, you need to give your name, address, phone number and birth date but this information is not shared with anyone when they search for you. You also check which message you want to share with others. The people who search for you must know your name (exactly as you have entered it) and either your phone number or your address in order to find you. When your file is located, only your name, your status, any personal message you post, and the date you entered the current information are all the information that is shown on the screen.

I want to thank the Red Cross for developing this site and encouraging people to register for it and for training volunteers how to use it also. I think this site will help ease many people’s minds during times when they are under extreme stress.

I hope you will check this site out and share it with your families and with your students. I think the more people that are aware of this central location for finding people during a disaster situation, the easier it will be to reunite family members or at least know how they are doing at the time.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'Join American Red Cross 1939' by: Jussi

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