Mexico City Earthquake – Information & Ways to Help (English)
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City on September 19, 2017, killing over 325 people across Mexico. At least 60 buildings collapsed or were significantly damaged, according to official counts. Many more buildings and homes are in danger of collapse or have sustained major damage. Citizen volunteers joined police and firefighters in searching for survivors in the rubble of flattened homes, offices, apartment buildings and schools.
Eighteen countries, including the United States, have sent rescue teams for assistance. Thousands of people are unable to return to their homes until they are assessed for structural damage. Officials reported that nearly 13,000 people have stayed overnight in shelters since the earthquake occurred. Volunteers have donated blankets, food and water to displaced residents staying in relief shelters and the following resources have been created to assist the victims of the earthquake.
CONTACTING LOVED ONES
- If you are looking for a U.S. citizen affected by recent international disasters, please contact the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747.
- The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available and open to the public in English and Spanish.
- To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800-733-2767, choose option 1.
- Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages accepted in Spanish and English.
- The American Red Cross Emergency App features an “I’m Safe” button that allows users to post a message to their social accounts, letting friends and family members know they are out of harm’s way. The app can be downloaded for free in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or by texting ‘GETEMERGENCY’ to 90999.
- The American Red Cross also offers the following recommendation:
- During and after large, devastating disasters, connectivity can be a challenge. Keep trying to reach out by calling during off-peak hours, and continue to send text messages and emails. Continually check social media for updates. Contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby who may be able to provide you with information.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Individuals, regardless of where they reside, can help those affected by the earthquake in Mexico. Listed below are resources to connect with in order to make a financial donation, donate blood, or volunteer:
Make a Donation
- American Red Cross: The American Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by the earthquake in Mexico by visiting www.redcross.org/donate or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. After a disaster, financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to the people who need it most. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
- Save the Children: To make a donation to support child and family-focused disaster relief efforts, donate at the website: www.savethechildren.org
- UNICEF USA: To make a donation to support UNICEF’s efforts in Mexico, go to https://www.unicefusa.org/about and click on red DONATE button.
- United Way of Mexico/Fondo Unido Mexico has a Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Fund. Donations can be made online at http://www.fondounido.org.mx/es/EmergencyFund
Important information about charitable giving: The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) recently released tips for avoiding phishing scams from individuals attempting to pose as legitimate charity organizations. Click here for more information. The Better Business Bureau of Central New England offers tips to donors on avoiding scammers and donating money to legitimate disaster relief organizations. Click here for more information.
- The Department of Health and Human Services is urging Americans to donate blood. Go to http://www.redcrossblood.org/ to find a local blood drive.
- If you wish to volunteer in response to the earthquake in Mexico, please visit this link to find National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members taking volunteers. Many of the organizations prefer or require affiliated volunteers, rather than unaffiliated volunteers. Visit https://www.nvoad.org/ to register as a volunteer.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES
United States Health and Human Services (U.S. HHS): https://www.hhs.gov/
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH): The Disaster Distress Helpline 800-985-5990 provides immediate crisis counseling and help to individuals nationwide who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, or incidents of mass violence. The Helpline is available 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The Helpline connects callers to professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. Individuals can call or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.
SOURCES: American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), USA.gov
PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: September 2017