International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry"

Posted by: Blast

International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 03/14/11 10:18 PM

The International Red Cross has a website where victims of large-scale disasters can register to let friends and family know they are okay and how to contact them. It's a worthwhile site to have bookmarked in case you ever need it. Of course you also need to let your friends and family know about it so they can check it to track you down or vice-versa.
Red Cross Safe & Well Registry

Posted by: Paul810

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 03/14/11 11:16 PM

My first thought was....that's a great idea!

My second thought was...wait, how would I get on the internet in a wide scale emergency? I don't carry an internet capable device as part of my bug-out gear. Plus, if 9/11 is at all indicative of how a major disaster in the future would go down.....then I won't have cell phone or internet service for days. blush

It's still a good thing to keep in mind though. You just never know which resources will and won't be available after a wide-scale emergency.
Posted by: Blast

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 03/15/11 12:53 AM

My understanding is you can also sign up on the registry at Red Cross stations.

In regards to the Japan earthquake, I read somewhere that Facebook is turning out to be the communication medium of choice for people as many can access it from smart phones. Apparently their cell phone system is much more robust than ours.

Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 03/15/11 01:07 AM

Google has someting similar...
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 03/29/11 12:44 AM

Brilliant idea! Thanks Blast!
Posted by: Dagny

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 03/29/11 02:27 AM

Great info, thanks.
Posted by: Paltik

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 05/31/11 06:14 PM

Many amateur radio stations are rigged to run off backup power and many are capable of accessing the Internet via packet radio networks.
Posted by: Nomad

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 06/01/11 03:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Paul810
My first thought was....that's a great idea!

My second thought was...wait, how would I get on the internet in a wide scale emergency?

I was a Red Cross Responder (also a ham) doing communications during Katrina. We provided internet service via a Red Cross Satellite Link to many shelters and other locations. People could do whatever they wanted and many used the service.

There were several other organizations providing similar services although some would not let people actually use the computers but were restricting them to a sort of "telegram" service. Some filtered the content quite severely.

There always seems to be a way to get on the internet. Ham radio is also frequently used, although slow, it does work well. Here again, it usually requires people to write their messages as sort of a telegram and it is sent by operators. Although in some situations now, standard e-mail programs are interfaced and people can type their own messages. One sees this more where large agencies such as hospitals are communicating via ham radio. These are usually situations where a lot of prior coordination has take place. Such as between a hospital and a local Emergency Operations Center etc.

I assume that the situation is very dynamic and getting more available and user friendly every day.

Posted by: gitnready4it

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 01/22/12 06:17 AM

I live near Joplin MO and after the May 22 tornado someone used there Facebook page and helped a lot of people connect and find loved ones. Of course this would not be an option in a grid down scenario or teotwawki.
Posted by: alexbrit

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 02/07/13 12:47 PM

Thanks for sharing such an important information.Red Cross is very best institute providing lot of rescue services all over the world.
Posted by: Lono

Re: International Red Cross "Safe & Well Registry" - 02/07/13 05:01 PM

Its been a couple years since the original post, and time and technology marches on, or given that its just been a couple years maybe it sprints. I'm happy to report multiple apps and mechanisms coming along for emergency messaging, such that folks can reliably send out and collect immediate status of their loved ones, if only they take a few minutes to download an app before hand, or register with Safe and Well. This post might give you some idea of the new capabilities - its not exhaustive, I have a Windows Phone and not an Apple or Google device, and I am sure they have wonderful equivalents that should be able to achieve the same thing from those platforms. I would encourage everyone to download and deploy these things in advance, and get your friends and family to do the same.

As a Red Cross volunteer and manager of mass care volunteers, I'm pre-registered for Safe and Well - in the event I'm caught in a disaster, I'll use it to notify my bosses if I'm available to respond or not. I think it uses something like "not available" instead of "trapped beneath 40 tons of stick built house" - but they'll get the idea. Now in 2013 we have plenty of online systems to manage volunteer turnouts including Volunteer Connection a web-based site, but those might not be immediately available to anyone. I'm also a ham and we have a system to notify red cross of my availability, just dial into a nearby repeater and give my status.

I am pretty sure Google has an app to notify loved ones of your welfare, someone else can contribute a feature review of that one.

Microsoft has one too called HelpBridge, info at Now that I'm among smartphone users I've tried it out. You can send status messages via SMS, email or Facebook to a number of folks - I have a largish local family and I think I ran into a limit of ~15 users per message. Its trivial to define new groups though - family 1, family 2, red cross, work etc - and send several emails or SMS. I tested it with both SMS and email messages and its pretty neat, messages went through 100% immediately, albeit in non-emergency conditions. These are just status messages - I'm OK vs. I Need Help - but handy in terms of immediate response to a disaster. There is also an option to share your immediate location.

For those outside a disaster area HelpBridge has connections to disaster response agencies including the Red Cross, Net Hope and Save the Children. The impulse to help others is fairly strong, witness the millions of folks who texted $10 to the Red Cross in the weeks immediately following the Haiti EQ. Personally I think that's a noble impulse to feed.

HelpBridge is available for Windows Phone, Android and Apple iOS. Signal your status, or offer your help at the $10 level, which is within fthe inancial reach of most folks, and often all that they are positioned to offer for remote disasters. Free of course. Pretty slick.