War and disaster can tear families apart when they need each other the most. The American Red Cross can help your family members reconnect, whether the separation was caused by a recent emergency here at home, war or natural disaster overseas, or events as far back as the Holocaust.
Reunification of Family in the US and US Territories
If you are unable to locate or connect with a loved one or friend who has been impacted by a current disaster event, the American Red Cross can help you locate them if they meet certain criteria:
If your missing loved one is elderly, has a functional or access need, suffers from a medical or mental condition made more severe by the disaster event or has difficulty understanding the English language (spoken or written), you can reach out to your local Red Cross chapter for assistance. A representative from your local chapter may connect you with Reunification Activity workers in the disaster area to assist with locating your loved one. (Ask for help with an Emergency Welfare Inquiry)
If your missing loved one or friend and you resided in the same home prior to the current disaster event but became separated as a result of evacuations or other circumstances, please reach out to your local Red Cross chapter for assistance. A representative from your local chapter may connect you with Reunification Activity workers in the disaster area to assist with locating your missing loved one/roommate. (Ask for help with a Family Reunification Request)
Ifyou OR your missing loved one is a member of the “military-connected community” (Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, Retired, Veteran or immediate family), please reach out to your local Red Cross chapter for assistance. A representative from your local chapter may connect you with Reunification Activity workers in the disaster area to assist with locating your missing loved one/friend. (Ask for help with a Military Welfare Inquiry.)
If your missing loved one/friend doesn’t meet one of the above criteria, we recommend that searchers be creative and persistent; if one of the following contact methods doesn’t work, try another and don’t give up!
Tips for Contacting Loved Ones
Call during off-peak hours for the best chance of getting through.
Send a text message, which may go through when phone calls cannot.
Check your loved one’s social media pages (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), as they may have already gone online to tell their story.
Send an email
Call friends and relatives who may have already been in contact with your loved one.
Call people and places where your loved one is well-known; neighbors, employer, school, place of worship, senior center, social club/center, union, or fraternal organization.
Try sending a letter. Your loved one’s mail may be getting forwarded to his or her new location.
Family in the US
Use our Safe & Well website to let loved ones know you are ok after a local disaster. Find someone you love who may have experienced a recent disaster in the US. Safe & Well provides a central location for people in disaster areas to register their currents status, and for their loved ones to access that information.