As news continues to develop following Hurricane Maria that struck Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and the recent earthquake in Mexico, Philadelphians are looking for ways to both locate relatives and help relief efforts.
The American Red Cross operates a Safe and Well site, a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available and open to the public and available in Spanish.
To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767).
For Philadelphians looking to donate to relief efforts, cash donations are the best way to quickly and effectively help. Direct cash donations give organizations the most flexibility in providing relief efforts. Before making a cash donation, however, ensure that:
- You are giving to a reputable organization.
- You are not making donations over the phone.
- You are going through the organization’s official site or mailing a check to their official address.
The Office of Emergency Management provides guidance on making monetary donations to emergency relief efforts, too, to help ensure that your goodwill will not be abused by scams.
If you know of individuals in need of assistance, including yourself or your loved ones, you can alert authorities by using Task Force Alert.
Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean
The American Red Cross Safe and Well site is a free, public tool for reunification with loved ones and those close to you who might be affected by disasters.
For Philadelphians looking to give to Hurricane Maria victims, please consider supporting the volunteers serving those in need through National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).
Catholic Relief Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is currently delivering relief and aid services to the entire Caribbean, including Tortola, Dominica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and all other islands and areas affected by the disaster.
As relief efforts continue, the City will provide assistance, including by providing manpower by way of first responders when possible, to Puerto Rico and other areas as well. The Philadelphia Fire Department already has a presence in search and rescue efforts underway.
The U.S. Department of State has a site with emergency numbers for local authorities in areas affected by Hurricane Maria, including Puerto Rico.
This real time shelter map provides information on where people can seek emergency shelter.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a site with information and resources as well.
Local social service organization Concilio has also set up a page where Philadelphians can donate to relief efforts.
Earthquake in Mexico
The American Red Cross operates a Safe and Well site, a free public registry to search for loved ones or for people to mark themselves as safe. It is available in both English and Spanish.
As news continues to develop following the earthquake affecting Mexico and Mexico City, there are several organizations accepting monetary donations, including:
- Red Cross of Mexico (Spanish)
- Save the Children
- Global Giving
- International Community Foundation
- OxFam (Spanish)
- Project Paz
- Unicef of Mexico (Spanish)
- Topos de Tlatelolco (Spanish)