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Local disaster response deploys to Philippines

Tuesday - 11/12/2013, 3:25am  ET

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A van sits outside the Red Cross disaster response center in Fairfax, Va. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

FAIRFAX - More than 50 calls have come in locally from those worried about a loved one in the Philippines hit by a typhoon.

At the Red Cross call center in Fairfax, Va., the phones were ringing over the weekend. Paul Carden, who serves as regional disaster program officer for the Red Cross, says the call takers serve two purposes: First, to seek missing people in the disaster area; second, to calm the nerves of concerned callers.

"They're trying to call, phones aren't getting through, social media may not be working, but they now know there's another organization working with them," Carden says.

The Red Cross is trained to deal with any type of response to any type of disaster, and although the typhoon hit so far away, Carden says he is not surprised by the local concern.

"The Navy had a very large presence there, so a lot of folks brought family members from the Philippines back here. So I'm not surprised at the volume of calls for the Philippines," Carden says.

Monetary donations are needed for support teams headed to the country now to help collect data, transport nearby supplies to the region and find survivors, he says.

You can donate by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or by visiting redcross.org.

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