Escaped a disaster? Tell everyone!
August 17, 2008 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Whether you're fleeing tropical storm Fay - which is currently heading for Florida - or you've just been airlifted out of the Grand Canyon due to the the recent flooding due to a dam breach, or even "none of the above/other", the American Red Cross has a way for you to let folks know you're Safe and Sound. You can search for people in the list by family name, pre-disaster phone number, and pre-disaster address. Also, the American Red Cross has a twitter feed. But I don't think twitter being down counts as a disaster...
posted by rmd1023 (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wow, that's a great tool. I remember after Katrina seeing hundreds and hundreds of people looking for loved ones without a way for the loved ones to say that they were publicly OK.
posted by mdonley at 1:05 AM on August 18, 2008

Twitter being up still counts as a disaster, right?
posted by loquacious at 3:40 AM on August 18, 2008

It's like yelling "I'm OKAAAAAAY!" after you drop the shampoo bottle in the shower.

Nice touch. Worriers like me appreciate this.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:40 AM on August 18, 2008

Hey! That's me! On Key West in the Florida Keys, about 98 miles from Cuba, on Fay Watch, drinking cafe con leches, and twittering.

Call me anytime.
posted by humannaire at 6:43 AM on August 18, 2008

I think we're going to be next on the Fay 2008 Tour (get the t-shirt!) here in the St Petersburg-Tampa area. If not us, then a wee bit south of us.
It's an imperfect science, but great for the bottled water makers.
posted by willmize at 7:09 AM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I didn't hear from my family after Katrina for about a week. My sister borrowed a satellite phone from an NBC correspondent. The problem with this idea is it assumes you have Internet access and after Katrina, there wasn't even cell service. This is a good idea for folks in shelters, but for those cut off from all forms of electronic communication, I'm not sure how it will help.

Interesting aside—after Katrina, at least on the other side of Pontchartrain at the MS/LA border, the first thing that was restored were the land lines. Unfortunately few folks had electricity. Everyone with old school phones could call out to the rest of the world, but anyone with a cordless waited over a month for both electricity and reliable cell service. For this reason I keep at least two princess phones in our house. One for ourselves, and one to lend others.
posted by Toekneesan at 10:50 AM on August 18, 2008

yeah, given that even just a simple power outage will render cordless phones unusable, i'm a big fan of having a couple of plain old landline phones around the house. (sort of how it's good for a business office to have a couple of POTS lines around even if you've got a spiffy awesome PBX)
posted by rmd1023 at 12:18 PM on August 18, 2008

You check into the Red Cross system with a computer? Do cell connections come up before power? If you only had a working mobile, could you use the Red Cross system, or should you just try Twitter?
posted by Pronoiac at 2:52 PM on August 18, 2008

Whoo Whoo Fay 2008 Summer Tour!
I'll be at the Tampa date too!

They already cancelled school for all of pinellas, polk, and hillsborough counties, and from my experience there's like, a forty-percent chance my power will go out for a few hours, but that's about it.
No one's really all that worried, it'll just be a day for readin' and not driving around.

I'm just hoping it doesn't ground my flight back to school on wednesday.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 5:50 PM on August 18, 2008

Oh, and yes, we have an old-fashioned don't plug it in phone at my house, too, mostly because the power goes out every time there's a strong wind, let alone a pass of a few bands from a hurricane.

It doesn't seem like something you'd need, but the ability to call people is surprisingly nice after hurricane charlie knocks out your power for two days.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 5:54 PM on August 18, 2008

It's faye-ing on me as I type this. Wet, windy, and much less mascara than I would have expected.
posted by brain cloud at 9:04 PM on August 18, 2008

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