Free Emergency Voicemail System -- Contact Loved Ones -- Can Help Wilma Evacuees Before and After Disaster Strikes

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After the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Contact Loved Ones(CLO) and the Red Cross worked together to bring information about CLO's free voicemail service to the hundreds of Red Cross shelters that were established after disaster struck. Now, with Wilma approaching the U.S., it is even more important to get the word out early so that people will be able to find each other quickly and easily by using a toll-free or local number listed at http://www.ContactLovedOnes.org

With Hurricane Wilma bearing down on the Gulf Coast and Florida, Contact Loved Ones (CLO) advises anyone evacuating or considering evacuation to bring along their address books with telephone numbers and to write down CLO’s toll-free number, 1-877-78-CONTACT (1-877-782-6682).

CLO’s free emergency voice message service received thousands of calls in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and proved vital in helping reestablish communications among family members and friends. Callers to CLO leave messages for family and friends to let each other know they are safe and how they can be reached. They can also listen to messages that others may have already left.

“If there’s one piece of advice I could give to the thousands of people who will be on the move, it’s to be as prepared as you can. Having this one simple toll-free number in your address book could make the difference between being separated from loved ones for hours or for weeks," said Dan Schoeffler, founder of CLO. "We designed the Contact Loved Ones service around the telephone so that people would be able to use it easily in times of crisis and without needing access to a computer or the Internet.”

After the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, CLO and the Red Cross worked together to bring information about CLO's free voicemail service to the hundreds of Red Cross shelters that were established after disaster struck. Now, with Wilma approaching the U.S., it is even more important to get the word out early so that people will be able to find each other quickly and easily, even if the telephones they normally use are out of commission.

Using a toll-free or local number (listed at http://www.ContactLovedOnes.org), callers leave voice messages for their loved ones that are safely stored in a virtual mailbox identified by a person’s phone number, an identifier which both they and their loved ones will know from before they were separated.

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Ilana Zalika
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