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American Red Cross Urges, 'Prepare for Ike'

As Hurricane Ike nears the Gulf Coast, evacuating Texans are urged to spare their families worry by registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hurricane Ike is expected to make landfall late Friday evening or early Saturday morning, affecting areas of Texas and Louisiana. As the Red Cross continues moving relief supplies to Texas, its message to residents is urgent: listen to the directions of local officials; prepare to evacuate if told to do so; and register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site.

Before you evacuate your home, call someone you love and tell them you are safe. Then, ask them to register you on Safe and Well (, the Web site that allows people directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know that they are okay. Safe and Well is also accessible through the American Red Cross public Web site, For those without internet access, you can register yourself and your family by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Follow the prompts for disaster information.

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

-- Prescription and emergency medications.

-- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements.

-- Identification and important personal documents.

-- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items.

-- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys.

-- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

When evacuating, be sure to pack medications and other supplies that you or a member of your family cannot do without. The Red Cross provides as many items as possible for shelter residents' comfort, but everything you need might not be readily available in a short-term shelter.

As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can log-on to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) to make a donation. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword "GIVE" to "2HELP" (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.

About the American Red Cross:

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 the Hurricanes of 2008, 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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