American Red Cross urges updates to family communication plans

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Personal preparedness can help keep people safer during an emergency.  Having an up to date family communications plan can alleviate fear and provide peace of mind. In preparation for a hurricane, remember to let your family and friends know about your plans. Should the hurricane make landfall, electricity and phone lines may be down for a period of time, and loved ones across the country may fear for the safety of those in the disaster area.

A communication tool that families can integrate into their plan is the Red Cross Safe and Well website, accessed via This public website allows those affected by disaster to register themselves as “safe and well” by posting standard messages that indicate they are at a shelter, home, or hotel and will make contact when they are able. Concerned family members who know the person’s phone number or a complete home address can search for the posted messages. In addition to bringing peace of mind to those outside of the disaster area, use of this tool helps mitigate congestion of public and cellular telephone lines and reduces the burden on emergency responders.

It is important to note that the Safe and Well website safeguards the registrant’s privacy. Standard messages are enough to provide peace of mind, but the site does not reveal the registrant’s specific location or contact information.

The Safe and Well website is also available in Spanish at  To register without a computer, call the Red Cross at (800) RED CROSS.

For more information, contact the North Treasure Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross at 772-562-2549 or 772-878-7077 or visit

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