WASHINGTON – As the United States responds to Hurricane Irma’s damage to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and prepares for impacts to the mainland, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is connecting community partners with disaster survivors to reunite families separated as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Working in close collaboration with the American Red Cross, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and other partners, FEMA helps to facilitate the reunification of children who have been separated from their parents or legal guardians as a result of disaster.
Survivors with internet access are encouraged to connect with friends and loved ones via social media platforms. When those are not available, the below resources are suggested for those in, and outside of, the impacted areas.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is 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, open to the public, and available in English and Spanish. There are a number of ways to use this service:
- Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.
- Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English.
- To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) activated its National Emergency Child Locator Center at 1-866-908-9570. If your missing child has a disability or has access and functional needs, please indicate that when making a report to NCMEC.
Anyone who finds a child who may have been separated from parents or caregivers, please contact the local police and enter basic information and/or a photo into the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Unaccompanied Minors Registry. If you have found an unaccompanied child, please indicate whether the child has a disability or has access and functional needs in the appropriate field in the Unaccompanied Minors Registry. If you do not have access to the internet, please call 1-866-908-9570.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
Follow FEMA online at /blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.twitter.com/femaspox, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at www.twitter.com/fema_brock.
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.