Communications to Philippines aided by help of two local organizations

Published On: Nov 12 2013 09:37:00 AM HST

Relief efforts following the devastation Typhoon Haiyan caused in the Philippines are underway in Hawaii.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

One of the first problems Hawaii residents run into when trying to find out what's happening with their loved ones in the Philippines is not being able to get in touch with them. That's an issue that two organizations here are trying to help with.

The Hawaii Red Cross has set up a family tracing services hotline for those looking for missing family members.

The number to dial for that is (808)739-8115. When you call you'll be asked to provide both the contact information for yourself and the person you're trying to get a hold of. That information will be relayed to Philippine Red Cross volunteers on site who will search the address you provide looking for your relatives.

"What we need is the public's patience because the infrastructure is really down and so the National Red Cross has sent two telecommunications experts with their whole satellite system to set up so that we can have communication between the Philippines and the United States," said Coralie Matayoshi, CEO for the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter.

Hawaiian Telcom is also assisting Hawaii residents who are trying to contact their family members. It's currently offering free phone calls to the Philippines to customers using their residential home phones.

If you'd like to help with relief efforts, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS. The Hawaii chapters spokesperson says monetary donations are best.

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