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Katrina family links data transferred to American Red Cross

20-09-2005 News Release Nr. 05/71

The ICRC is transferring the data contained on its website www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina to the American Red Cross, at whose request the data will be registered on the website www.katrinasafe.org.

From now on, those who registered on the ICRC family links site or are seeking to re-establish contact with relatives or friends in the disaster area should consult www.katrinasafe.org.  

The ICRC has already transferred to the American Red Cross family linking website data registered by more than 65,000 people affected by Katrina and anxious to inform their families and friends that they are safe and well. Within the next few days, the ICRC will also transfer data registered by people seeking to re-establish contact with relatives or friends in the disaster area. The American Red Cross will follow up on these requests and support families seeking to locate their loved ones.

The ICRC family links website, set up at the request of the American Red Cross, currently contains more than 211,000 entries. Over the past two weeks ICRC staff have answered more than 5,500 requests for information concerning the site, which will be deactivated within 30 days.

The Internet is an increasingly important tool in the ICRC's efforts to help reunite families separated by conflicts or natural disasters. The organization has also been operating special family links web pages for victims of the tsunami and the recent crises in the Gulf, Haiti, Somalia and the Balkans. In addition to its web-related activities, the ICRC works closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world to facilitate the exchange of Red Cross messages between dispersed family members. In all, 1.36 million messages were collected and distributed in 2004. 

  For further information, please contact:  

 Simon Schorno, ICRC Washington, tel. ++1 202 293 94 30 / ++1 202 431 69 06  

 Florian Westphal, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 29 30 / ++41 79 217 32 26  

 American Red Cross media office, tel. ++1 202 303 55 51  

    

 Or visit the following websites:  

 ICRC:   www.icrc.org  American Red Cross:   http://www.redcross.org/  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies:   www.ifrc.org