The Red Cross is Reconnecting Displaced People From Burundi



In Burundi, the July 2015 presidential elections have led to violence and political unrest and have resulted in large numbers of people seeking safety in neighboring countries. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are assisting in hosting refugees and The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is also there assisting in the crisis.


Throughout area refugee camps the ICRC provides a variety of humanitarian supports including clean water, health and sanitation. The ICRC, in cooperation with the National Societies of Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, also provides supports through its Restoring Family Links program.

The Restoring Family Links program provides services for reconnecting loved ones separated through conflict, war, and humanitarian crisis. These include the registration of unaccompanied minors, visits to detention centers, tracing and messaging services, as well as mobile phone support.

Lost Communication During Conflict


Lost mobile phone service is a major barrier to displaced loved ones trying to reconnect, and is one of the ways in which the Family Links program can help. Upon entering a neighboring country, Burundians no longer have access to mobile networks and lose the ability to make phone calls. Working with local providers the ICRC has received donations of local SIM cards, with pre-loaded airtime, allowing refugees to make needed calls. Addressing the compounding problem of limited electricity, the ICRC has also initiated project “Mobile Solar Kiosk” enabling refugees to charge their phones remotely.

A Family Reunited


Mahama Camp, in Rwanda, is just one of the many camps hosting Burundi refugees. When Fredric Ngano sought safety for his family at Mahama, he lost contact with his minor son who was too sick to make the journey. Committed to finding him, Fredric was able to work with ICRC volunteers to call his son and eventually reunite the family. See Rwanda / Burundi: Torn apart by violence – Burundian families reunited for Fredric’s story. 

Reconnecting Through Family Links


Reconnecting with loved ones displaced in Burundi starts with your local Red Cross. For inquiries in Southern Nevada call (702) 791-3311 for more information. You can also visit Reconnecting Families | American Red Cross to learn more about the Family Links program. There you can begin an online search by completing the International Reconnecting Families Inquiry Form

And for more information on how the Red Cross is helping in the humanitarian crisis in Burundi, as well as crisis worldwide, please visit the The International Committee of The Red Cross for details.


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Staying Safe as Hurricane Joaquin Nears Eastern US Coast

Please share this with friends & family on east coast of US (per, Red Cross NHQ):

The American Red Cross is getting ready to respond to Hurricane Joaquin if needed and urges residents who may be in the path of the storm to get ready too.

Where Joaquin will travel is still uncertain, but some experts agree the hurricane could affect people from North Carolina to lower New England. The storm is carrying winds near 75 mph and is expected to drop several inches of rain which could cause flooding. Joaquin is expected to strengthen over the next several days. Residents along the coast and those who live inland should watch this storm as its effects stretch outward as far as 125 miles from the storm’s center.

Red Cross chapters are getting ready to respond should the storm affect communities in the mid-Atlantic and northeast parts of the country. The Red Cross is putting disaster volunteers and relief supplies on stand-by and working with local officials and partners throughout the region to help ensure assistance is ready if needed.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO Heavy rain is already falling in the same region Joaquin could affect over the weekend. There is the potential for flooding and flash flooding and residents should listen to local media outlets to stay informed about the situation in their community.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, hurricanes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going

FLOOD SAFETY If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. You can learn more about flood safetyhere. Some safety steps to remember include:

  • Head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.

HURRICANE SAFETY Important hurricane safety information is available here. What should you do?

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local media outlets for critical information about the storm.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and get some extra cash.
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you don’t have shutters, close and board up all the windows with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible.
  • If you have propane, turn off the tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • If you are ordered to evacuate, obey the order, avoiding flooded roads and washed out bridges.

BUILD YOUR KIT Those who may be affected should check their disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed. Emergency preparedness kits should include enough supplies for at least three days in case someone has to evacuate. Water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents should go in every kit. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home.

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AAA Donating $3 to the Red Cross for Every UNLV Football Passing Yard


Across the country, all the signs of autumn are here- the trees are changing color, leaves are falling to the ground, and most notably the weather is cooling off. Here in Las Vegas, that’s not necessarily the case.  Temperatures still continue rise to triple digits.  Our signs of autumn are much more exciting: its Football season!

UNLV’s starting game on September 5, 2015 was not only an exciting match but the start of a beautiful friendship. AAA has chosen to support of the Red Cross mission in a very interesting way. For each passing yard the UNLV Football team has, AAA will donate $3 to the Red Cross. Throughout the season AAA members will have a chance at additional prizes and promotions; at the end of the season a final total will be broadcasted for the fans to see at the last home game.

Be sure to get out there and support UNLV Football in their fight for the championship and support of the Red Cross’s mission to help those affected by disaster. GO REBELS!


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Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Saves 26 Lives Since Launch

In just one year, at least 26 people are alive today thanks to a nationwide campaign spearheaded by the American Red Cross to save lives and reduce injuries from home fires. More than 63,000 families are safer thanks to the smoke alarms and safety education they received in their homes from Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other community partners. And more than 311,000 children have learned to be safer in emergencies from Red Cross volunteers and apps.

“In this country, seven people lose their lives every day from a home fire,” said Russ Paulsen, Executive Director of Community Preparedness for the Red Cross.  “Even one death from a home fire is tragic, because every single one of these deaths is preventable. When communities work together, we know we can reach more families, install life-saving smoke alarms in their homes and teach fire safety. And thanks to the American Red Cross and our partners, that’s happening from coast to coast.”

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.

People of all ages are vulnerable to home fires. During the course of this campaign, we were gratified and thrilled that among others, the lives were saved of a two-month-old baby, a 73-year-old grandmother, and 11 members of an extended New Orleans family by new smoke alarms that the Red Cross and our partners installed.


Launching nationwide in October 2014, the Red Cross and more than 1,900 local partners and 40 national partners have:

  • Saved 26 lives in six states (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas)
  • Installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns
  • Reached more than 485,000 people with safety information, including more than 311,000 youth
  • Visited more than 63,000 homes 50 states and 3 territories

Call the local Red Cross office to schedule an appointment to have a smoke alarm installed in your house or apartment!  (702) 697-1707

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Red Cross is Reconnecting Displaced People With Restoring Family Links Program


Millions of families globally are affected by humanitarian crisis. Impacted by armed conflicts, wars, disasters and migrations, family members can become separated from one another and find it hard, if not impossible, to re-connect.

When this occurs the American Red Cross Restoring Family Links program can help. Combining volunteer efforts between the American Red Cross and International Red Cross organizations, the Restoring Family Links program can assist in re-establishing communication with lost loved ones.

“my story will always relate to American Red Cross – will relate to the people that helped me when I was younger” ~Manyan Reath Ker

After being separated from his mother, Manyang Reath Ker turned to the American Red Cross for help. Using the information he provided, the Family Links program volunteers were able to locate Manyang’s mother and deliver his hand written letter to her. Like so many families separated by crisis, the pain of not knowing if their family member is safe is heartbreaking. It’s also heartbreaking to feel the loss of their own human story. To Manyang, hearing his mother’s stories of when he was younger was important to him because, as he states, “they don’t make sense to anybody else, but they make sense to me”. Without Family Links, Manyang believes he would never have seen his mother again. Empowered by his experience, Manyang now serves as a Family Links advocate himself. Manyang shares his own story here: “Manyang Reath Ker, Restoring Family Links Advocate for the American Red Cross” 

Getting Started with Family Links


Beginning a Family Links search starts by contacting your local Red Cross. Here in Southern Nevada you can call (702) 791-3311 for more information. You can also visit Reconnecting Families | American Red Cross to see the impact the Family Links program has had across the world. There you will also find the International Reconnecting Families Inquiry Form, which allows you to start your search online.

American Red Cross Volunteers are crucial to relief efforts locally and globally. If you would like to learn how you can support the Family Links program, or any of our other great programs, please visit our website at, to find out more.


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Western Wildfires: Red Cross Helping Displaced Residents

Wildfires in the western United States are wreaking havoc and driving thousands of people to flee their homes towards safety. California has been hit the hardest, although serious fires are also raging in Washington, Utah and Texas. Throughout all these regions the Red Cross is on hand providing emergency shelters, meals, relief supplies and health services, as well as much needed emotional comfort and support.

What you can do to stay safe

Be Red Cross RDy

For those in the path of the fire it’s crucial that you do what’s needed to keep you and your family safe. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App and have access to real time information on shelter locations, weather alerts, preparedness information and critical safety tips.

The Emergency App contains expert advice detailing what you should do during a wildfire, flood, tornado, or other disaster. You will also find emergency first aid and life saving information for a variety of situations including heart attacks and heat-related emergencies, as well as important water safety tips.

The Red Cross Emergency App is free and can be downloaded for smartphones and tablets, and has the added benefit of pre-loaded content – that means that you can access this information at any time – with or without mobile connectivity. You can download the Emergency App from your app store, or find it by searching for American Red Cross or by going to

The Red Cross also offers “Be Red Cross Ready – Wildfire Safety Checklist” – another great resource on how to get prepared prior to fire season, what to do when fires are reported in your area, and how to stay safe when returning to your home after a wildfire. Check out Be Red Cross Ready to access this important information.

How you can help

People need your help now. There are several ways to donate to the Red Cross in Southern Nevada you can call (702) 791-3311. You can also visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The Red Cross understands the importance of donor intent. Any designated funds raised beyond what is needed for emergency relief will go to serving the recovery and disaster preparedness needs of the affected communities.

By making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief you enable the Red Cross to do the important work of preparing for, and responding to, those facing disasters. Your donations not only help people affected by disasters like wildfires, but the nearly 70,000 other disasters the Red Cross handles, every year, throughout the country.

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Red Cross & Disney Teach Young Students About Preparedness

The Red Cross and Disney renewed their commitment to help teach disaster preparedness to children and families through the Pillowcase Project initiative.

The Pillowcase Project curriculum is structured by three core principles:  Learn, Practice, and Share. Students will learn about hazards, how to prepare for emergencies, enhance coping skills, practice what they have learned and share their knowledge with friends and family. The program emphasizes the importance of developing an emergency communications plan, evacuation plan and emergency contact cards.

The program also teaches students how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during an emergency. Students will have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their pillowcases during the presentation, and are encouraged to take them home to create a kit.

“This amazing program for children is one that we are very proud to continue to offer in our local schools and after-school programs.” said Red Cross Regional CEO Scott Emerson. “The program gives students in southern Nevada the opportunity to learn about the science behind various hazards and the importance of preparedness in a fun and interactive way.”

Disney Friends for Change – a global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action and make a difference in their communities – will also highlight an emergency preparedness interstitial from Disney Junior’s Peabody Award-winning series “Doc McStuffins.” Airing all month-long on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, the spot features Doc and her friends, Hallie, Lambie, Chilly, and Stuffy, modeling the basics of emergency preparedness to impart simple ways preschoolers and their families can be prepared.

For more information about The Pillowcase Project, visit  In order to schedule a Pillowcase Project Presentation for your school or organization, contact the Red Cross Pillowcase Project Coordinator, Donna Robinson, at (702) 892-0114.

Pillowcase June 2014 004

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