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Sep 2, 2005

Red Cross asks Belizeans to help Katrina victims

Story PictureThe disturbing images coming out of areas of the United States affected by Hurricane Katrina, namely Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, may cause many of us to wonder what we can do to help. Perhaps even more importantly, those of us with family there may be still trying to reach loved ones. Well there is something you can do; the Belize Red Cross has joined the International Red Cross in launching an appeal fund. According to Eamon Courtenay, Director of the Disaster Relief Committee, the catastrophe is so overwhelming, people from all over the world are being asked to help… and Courtenay added, the Red Cross can also help Belizeans find their family members.

Eamon Courtenay, Director, Disaster Relief Committee
“We are asking the Belizean population to be generous and give as much as they can so that we can help the people in need. Not because it’s the United States, there is not need. There are very poor people and there are even people who have, but who have lost everything, and have desperate need. In addition to that, there are as you know, about five thousand Belizeans living in the New Orleans area and certainly a lot of them have need. We would like to reach out to our Belizean brothers and sisters, asking them to give so the American Red Cross can also help Belizeans in need.”

Karla Heusner
“People who have family in the affected areas and who are getting increasingly worried, even desperate at this point trying to reach family, can the Red Cross help in any way?”

Eamon Courtenay
“Yes, they can help. One of the services that the Red Cross offers is what we call tracing. We have forms that if you call the Red Cross or preferably visit the Red Cross, we will take all the information you have and all the information that we need. We will then feed it into the Red Cross in the United States and they will then go on the ground in the affected areas to try to find the people they were referred to. For example, people who are now in the dome in Texas, they now have a list of all the people, so if there is any Belizean there, the Red Cross would know that this is where the person is and that information would be fed from the Red Cross in the United States back to us and we would get in contact with the Belizean here.”

Contributions to the Hurricane Katrina Red Cross Appeal Fund can be made at all major banks in the country. The Belize Red Cross is also taking this opportunity to urge all Belizeans to learn from the unfortunate experiences of those affected by Katrina and review their own hurricane evacuation and preparedness plans. Courtenay says the Red Cross is more than willing to review individual family plans and offer advice and suggestions or answer any questions you may have about safety and evacuation.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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