Finding Relatives, Friends

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 "Loved Ones" hotline: 1-877 LOVED 1s (1-877-568-3317).

The Red Cross is also running an online list where names can be registered:

You can also report missing people to The National Disaster Medical System/FEMA via the Family Assistance Missing Persons Center, based out of the Harrison County Coroner's Office in Mississippi. This number applies to every state hit by Katrina: 1-866-326-9393.

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, including:

The Houston Chronicle, for a compiled list of available Web sites.

The Biloxi Sun Herald message board