If you are trying to reach missing relatives or friends in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross offers some basic guidance:

You can contact the Red Cross directly and inquire about individuals through its "Get Info" hotline: 1-866 GET INFO (1-866-438-4636)

Rest assured that emergency responders are working as quickly as possible and are doing all that they can to help those affected.

Remember that the storm has left power outages and downed phone lines in its wake. Please keep trying to call your friends and relatives, and be patient. Phone lines are often overwhelmed after a disaster.

Try sending an e-mail if you can, as sometimes e-mail will work when phones don't.

There are also a number of Web sites dedicated to connecting survivors of Hurricane Katrina with their loved ones. One such site is http://www.hurricanekatrinasurvivors.com