Do not contact American Red Cross headquarters by phone

| 9/1/2005

Due to an overwhelming public response, the American Red Cross is asking volunteers and donators to not call the national hot line number, so that families of victims can get through.

Instead, the Red Cross is asking people to contact their local Red Cross chapters, or visit to make donations or to volunteer.

"Currently, phone lines are being overwhelmed," a spokesperson for the Red Cross said in a recorded message on the toll-free phone line. "The best way to help the Red Cross assist those affected by the storm is to remain patient and help us keep this phone line open for emergency use only."