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American Red Cross Encourages Residents to Prepare for Evacuation

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As mandatory and voluntary evacuations force Gulf Coast residents to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Gustav, the American Red Cross encourages everyone affected by the storm to prepare before evacuating.

If you or your loved ones are in the potentially affected areas, register yourself on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website at, or call a loved one and ask them to register you. The Red Cross provides this online tool to help families and individuals notify loved ones that they are safe during an emergency, which can help bring peace of mind in challenging times.

The Safe and Well website is easy to use:

1. Visit, and click on the Safe and Well link

2. If you are currently being affected by these disasters, click: "List Myself as Safe and Well," enter your pre-disaster address and phone number, and select any of the standard message options

3. If you are concerned about a loved one, click "Search" and enter the person's name and pre-disaster phone number or address. If they have registered, you will be able to view the messages that they posted

4. If you don't have internet access, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800- 733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.

If you are evacuating, you need to bring important items with you, including but not limited to:

-- Medical supplies, such as prescription medications and dentures

-- Toiletries

-- Clothing and bedding-a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member

-- Games/comfort items for children

-- Disaster supplies-flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water

-- Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend's or relative's home)

If you have not been advised of an evacuation, prepare these items now in case you have to leave. For more information on how to prepare for an evacuation, visit

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like Hurricane Gustav, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

SOURCE American Red Cross
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