Guiuan: Red Cross volunteers off-load boxes of household essentials at the Guiuan relief distribution site. ICRC / Brecht Goris
Guiuan: Red Cross volunteers off-load boxes of household essentials at the Guiuan relief distribution site. Photo by ICRC/Brecht Goris

In the frightening moments during armed conflict or natural disaster, families often lose contact with each other. In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross and more than 180 national societies, the American Red Cross can help families living in the United States reconnect with their loved ones through our Restoring Family Links program.

Nationally, the American Red Cross helps deliver an average of 4,000 international messages to families each year. Your local Red Cross chapter can help locate missing loved ones during and after disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.

The Philippine Red Cross is actively working to reconnect families separated by the typhoon. They have set up 29 welfare desks in affected communities to help people find missing family members and provide emotional support. The Philippine Red Cross has currently received more than 35,000 family tracing cases. If you or someone you know are still looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phones lines are still down. Families in the United States can go to http://familylinks.icrc.org/yolanda-typhoon/ to search for loved ones or list them as missing. The Philippine Red Cross responders are actively gathering information on persons who are safe and well and updating the “I am alive” listings on this website. Families can check the website regularly for updates.

Individuals trying to contact U.S. citizens, in addition to consulting the above-mentioned website, should be referred the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, through their Task Force Alert system (https://tfa.state.gov/ccd/)or by calling 1-888-407-4747. Due to logistical challenges, finding people in the Philippines is still a slow process. Please continue trying to reach your family members through your regular communication channels. Additional resources include the Philippines embassy (http://philippinesusa.org/haiyan/) and Google Person (http://google.org/personfinder/2013-yolanda).

If you have any questions about reconnecting with family members affected by the typhoon, or about other Red Cross Restoring Family Links services, please contact Cody Austin at [email protected] or 206.726.3554.

For more on Typhoon Haiyan, visit:


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