Red Cross Website Links Japan-based Troops to Home

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 — In the wake of Japan’s mas­sive earth­quake and tsuna­mi, Red Cross offi­cials are encour­ag­ing U.S. ser­vice mem­bers and fam­i­lies post­ed there to reg­is­ter with an online resource intend­ed to keep fam­i­ly and friends back home informed of their wel­fare.
Mil­i­tary mem­bers and their fam­i­lies over­seas can relay their sta­tus and pass on mes­sages to loved ones through the Amer­i­can Red Cross-spon­sored “Safe and Well” web­site at

“It’s a great online tool,” Dean­na Swanier, senior direc­tor of ser­vice deliv­ery for the Amer­i­can Red Cross’ Ser­vice to the Armed Forces, told Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice yes­ter­day. “Fam­i­ly mem­bers back here can vis­it the web­site and look up loved ones to see if they’re safe.” 

Hours after the earth­quake and tsuna­mi struck March 11, offi­cials con­firmed U.S. mil­i­tary per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies were account­ed for. Still, fam­i­ly and friends back home were seek­ing information. 

One woman turned to Mis­awa Air Base’s Face­book page for infor­ma­tion that day. Mis­awa is about 400 miles north of Tokyo. 

“Not sure if any­one can find out any­thing,” she wrote, “but my broth­er is on base and we’re try­ing to fig­ure out if every­thing is OK over there. Does any­one know?” 

To reg­is­ter for Safe and Well, peo­ple enter their name, con­tact infor­ma­tion and then choose from a list of stan­dard mes­sages –- “I am safe and well,” “Fam­i­ly and I are safe and well,” or “Cur­rent­ly at shel­ter” –- or they can type a cus­tomized message. 

While many ser­vice mem­bers may turn to e‑mail or, if avail­able, a phone call to con­tact imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­bers after a dis­as­ter, Swanier encour­aged them to also reg­is­ter on Safe and Well so extend­ed fam­i­ly mem­bers and friends can find out about their well-being. 

“It offers anoth­er avenue of com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” she noted. 

Fam­i­ly and friends back home can access the mes­sages by enter­ing the ser­vice member’s pre-dis­as­ter phone num­ber or com­plete home address. They can’t, how­ev­er, reg­is­ter them­selves on the site. The site is intend­ed to facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion from inside the dis­as­ter-affect­ed areas to fam­i­lies out­side, Red Cross offi­cials explained. 

While the site offers a quick and easy way to pass on a person’s cur­rent sta­tus, not every­one choos­es to reg­is­ter. In this case, offi­cials encour­age peo­ple to try call­ing, tex­ting or check­ing online to see if their loved one is updat­ing their social media page, such as Face­book or Twit­ter. Peo­ple who have a loved one with a seri­ous health or men­tal health con­di­tion can ini­ti­ate an Emer­gency Infor­ma­tion Request by call­ing their local Amer­i­can Red Cross chap­ter or call­ing 1–800-RED-CROSS.

Along with Safe and Well, Red Cross offi­cials also passed on a few oth­er ways to con­tact U.S. cit­i­zens liv­ing or trav­el­ing overseas. 

The Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross has launched a spe­cial “Fam­i­ly Links” web­site to help peo­ple seek­ing to re-estab­lish con­tact with fam­i­ly mem­bers and friends. Peo­ple in Japan and oth­er coun­tries in the Pacif­ic can reg­is­ter at to inform their fam­i­ly and friends that they are safe and pro­vide their cur­rent con­tact information. 

Peo­ple in the Unit­ed States look­ing for loved ones can check the list for infor­ma­tion. They also can reg­is­ter the names of fam­i­ly mem­bers and friends, encour­ag­ing them to get in touch. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, peo­ple can con­tact or locate U.S. cit­i­zens liv­ing or trav­el­ing in Japan by call­ing the State Department’s office of over­seas cit­i­zens’ ser­vices at 1–888-407‑4747 or 202–647-5225.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

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