Skip to main content
Search
Services
U.S.
 » 2006 Forecast  | Saffir-Simpson scale  |  Your stories

Families urged to prepare for separation

Missing children center offers advice, as Hurricane Rita nears

From Paul Courson
CNN

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

Family

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- For families who must evacuate ahead of storms such as Hurricane Rita, there are basic ways to prepare in case people become separated.

Make sure people outside your immediate family have current pictures of your children, urged Ernie Allen, the president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

"Take digital photos of your children and e-mail it to friends and relatives so we can get photos," he said.

He also advised parents to make "a little, simple ID for your child" to keep with them. The information can include a basic list of distinguishing marks.

"So many children in this situation were not able to tell us or social services who they are and where they lived and what their mom's name was," Allen said.

"We recommend that parents take this seriously," he added.

Evacuations already are under way along the coast of Texas, where Rita is projected to make landfall early Saturday. The hurricane reached Category 5 intensity Wednesday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. (Full story)

As calls continued to come in Wednesday about children missing after Hurricane Katrina, Allen told CNN that thousands of parents didn't have photos of their children with them as they evacuated. Such a tool is valuable when it comes to reuniting separated families.

The Center for Missing and Exploited Children "has learned a lot from the Katrina experience," said Allen. "We have people on the ground. We have offered our center and resources to the state of Texas ... There's a good clearinghouse in Austin (and) we have offered to assist them in any way we can..."

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines