San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross Continues to Aid Those Affected by the Mexicali Earthquake

San Diego/Imperial County, California, April 7, 2010 — The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross continues to assist the people affected by the earthquake that struck Mexicali on Sunday, April 4, 2010. Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency for Imperial County allowing for state resources to be used in recovery efforts.

SHELTER UPDATES:

The Red Cross shelter in El Centro remains open and the Red Cross, along with partner agencies, continues to provide assistance including hydration, snacks and three meals a day to those in the shelter. In addition, the Red Cross has 240 heater meals available in the event that more residents will need sheltering and other assistance.

There are no requests for additional Red Cross shelters, however, the Red Cross stands prepared to assist when needed.

SAFE AND WELL WEBSITE:

The Safe and Well Website continues to operate; it is an internet-based tool that families can integrate into their family communications plan and also one that the Red Cross will use to help disaster victims communicate from inside the disaster-affected areas to loved ones outside.

People within a disaster area can register themselves as “safe and well” by selecting and posting standard messages for friends and family that indicate they are safe and well at a shelter, home or hotel, and will make contact when they are able. Concerned family members who know the person’s phone number (home, cell or work) or a complete home address can search for messages posted by those who self-register.

The Safe and Well Website complies with all privacy and child protection laws. Because of these privacy concerns, no location information is publicly displayed on this website. The results of a successful search only display a loved one’s first name, last name, an as of date, and the Safe and Well messages they posted.

MEDIA REQUESTS:

In addition to the communications staff at Red Cross Headquarters in Kearny Mesa, there is now a dedicated Public Information Officer on the scene and can respond to media requests either via telephone or in person. Please contact Ellen Agey, Manager of Development and Communications, at 858-205-0148 or via email at ellen.agey@sdarc.org to coordinate interviews.

Still pictures of scenes from the community can also be provided.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

You can help those affected by local disasters by making a gift to the American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Disaster Relief Fund at www.sdarc.org or by mailing a check or money order to the American Red Cross at 3950 Calle Fortunada, San Diego, CA 92123.

GET PREPARED:

For information on how you and your loved ones can be prepared in the event of a disaster or to buy a preparedness kit please visit www.preparesandiego.org.

About the American Red Cross, San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter

The American Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people to provide our programs and services. The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter is leading the effort to make San Diego and Imperial Counties “America’s most prepared communities.” With the public’s ongoing support we provide life saving preparedness training; disaster relief services; 24-hour emergency services to deployed military personnel and their families; and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For more information about or to support the chapter please contact (858) 309-1200 or visit www.sdarc.org.

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