December 16, 2005
National Next of Kin Registry (NOKR)
Contact: Roger Castro Chief Operations Officer
Accidents, Flu Pandemic or National Disaster Are You
December 16, 2005
The National Next of Kin Registry (NOKR) is asking all
People to take a proactive stance in preparing for
accidents and national disasters during this holiday
season by registering their vital emergency contact
information. This information will help emergency
agencies help you in your time of need.
NOKR wants to remind everyone about the importance of
family and NOKR’s FREE resource which is used in the
event of an accident, if someone goes missing or in
the event of a disaster such as the recent Hurricane
Katrina, London bombing or Asian Tsunami. It only
takes a minute to register and it only takes a few
seconds for accidents to happen.
Help NOKR help you stay safe.
Please take a few minutes out of your day and
safeguard the ones you love, it’s the best gift you’ll
ever give this holiday. Visit WWW.NOKR.ORG
Mark Cerney the Founder and Executive Director Said
“NOKR is preparing Americans from Coast to Coast. NOKR
has nationwide visibility and can be found on the
California State websites www.ca.gov under quick hits,
on the Texas State website under Featured Sites
http://www.texas.gov on the Florida State website
http://florida.gov under Hot Topics as well as our
nations capital at the Washington DC Emergency
Information Center http://eic.rrc.dc.gov listed under
Emergency Information. NOKR is listed on most all US
Mark Cerney also went on to say “NOKR has spanned
beyond the USA and has nearly 1000 volunteers working
to spread the word and register those in their
community in almost every nation from Australia to
Johnny Keene NOKR’s resident law enforcement expert
and also the Assistant Executive Director at NOKR said
“The rewards of being involved with NOKR came full
circle as I reunited those displaced in shelters in
the recent Katrina disaster. Our volunteers in the
affected areas of this disaster had forwarded NOKR the
list of those in shelters nationwide. I was charged
with running many of those names for families seeking
to find their lost loved ones". Johnny also said that
he was authorized to perform these searches not as a
staff member of NOKR but as a sworn law enforcement
officer in Southern California.
In 2005 the National Next of Kin Registry was
introduced to Congress and the Senate in a series of
bills (see HR 2560 The Elaine Sullivan Act, HR 3999.IH
The National Emergency Family Locator Act and Senate
Bill S. 1630), which specifically lists NOKR as a
NOKR was established in 2003. The National Next of Kin
Registry gained national attention and acclaim in the
wake of hurricane Katrina and was created to help
locate lost, missing, injured or deceased persons in
our day-to-day operations. NOKR also helps in times of
natural disaster or terrorist actions against the
United States and its allies.
In the first half of 2006, NOKR hopes to launch one of
the most ambitious projects in U.S. history called
“Reach Out To America (ROTA).” The ROTA campaign will
visit all US States and over 250 cities, in three
specially designed mobile command centers in an effort
to register 50 million people within the year. The
ROTA campaign was set to launch in late 2005 but was
pushed back due to Hurricane Katrina needs.
is NOKR funded? Mark Cerney our founder sold his
modest home in Washington State to start and fund the
NOKR organization. Now the Organization relies on
donations from individuals and corporations.
10 Quick tips to Keep Your Family Safe this Holiday Season
emergency point of contact / next of kin and store
this information some place visible like your,
Wallet, Purse, Backpack or Vehicle Glove Box.
information water / weather resistant by laminating.
list an instate and out of state point of contact
for you or your family, example (Brother, Sister,
Mother, Father, Best Friend, Neighbor, Attorney, ect.)
possible, list more than one person to be contacted
if an urgent need arises.
you have up to date contact information for your
next of kin, establish who can make decisions for
you when you cannot.
any medical concerns or allergies to medications.
travel locally, nationally or internationally with
out this information above.
an update photograph of your children in your purse
or wallet; this can be used if your child is missing
in a store, mall, theme park or in a new place.
today at NOKR and print the optional registration
card, laminate it and keep this card with your
driver’s license, identification card or passport.
For children place a card on file at school
or attach the card to a backpack.
Remember this, who will speak for you when you can’t?
NOKR will and it’s FREE.
The National Next of Kin Registry is a nonprofit (501C
3) organization and is headquartered in Temecula,
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2005
Contact: Irma Flores, James Whiting
Phone: (951) 684-2585
Next of Kin Registry (NOKR)
Helping prepare for
separation of loved as Hurricane Rita bears down
National Next of Kin Registry (NOKR) is an
emergency contact system that has been working
daily registering, matching, and locating families
and loved ones displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Headquartered in Temecula, California, the
emergency call center is temporarily located at
the Riverside County Office of Emergency Services,
a larger facility that can better handle NOKR’s
highest registration and call flow ever. As a
result of the high demand NOKR continues to
recruit volunteers to assist families still
seeking information on those missing or not yet
Hurricane Rita bears down on Texas, NOKR continues
to support and work closely with local, state and
federal officials, police and fire, emergency
disaster agencies such as
the American Red
Cross, and faith based organizations across the
country to effectively manage and respond to the
catastrophic Category 4 storm.
According to NOKR founder, Mark Cerney, “We
are standing ready to
assist our country as a point of contact for
missing, injured or deceased persons. Public trust
agencies such as local, state
emergency personnel and designated military
command are provided access to our secure
emergency information to assist in helping all
individuals in dire times of need.”
further states that by
registering on NOKR, emergency agencies nationally
and internationally are notified as to who should
be contacted if you or your family member is
missing or injured. Carrying a driver's license,
passport or identification card helps authorities
know who you are but not necessarily who
should be contacted; this is not enough as
Hurricane Katrina unfortunately revealed. In a
natural disaster situation personal information is
often-times destroyed or not readily available.
People need to be prepared to have a next of kin
speak for them or their family member when they
With Hurricane Rita intensifying,
all individuals are urged to call NOKR’s Emergency
Registration Hot Line at (800) 915-5413 and
register themselves and/or their loved ones or go
Registration is free.
encourages you to download the Optional
Registration Card, fill it out and carry it with
September 3, 2005
NOKR APPEARS ON CNN WORLDWIDE AND
CNN’S LARRY KING LIVE SPECIAL
CNN Larry King Live
How You Can Help Katrina Victims
natural disaster. What maybe the worst catastrophe
in U.S. history. Devastation, desperation, utter
despair. But in the mist of unspeakable heartbreak
acts of heroism and flashes of hope. Tonight
responding to the crisis after Hurricane Katrina,
making the difference between life and death. A
three hour CNN LARRY KING LIVE special, "How you
Next of Kin Registry appears on CNN and CNN’s
Larry King Live to aid victims of Hurricane
Jesse Jackson, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and
charity organization officials are participating
to give guidance on relief efforts.
included: Marty Evans, Red Cross CEO and
president; Nick MacDonald, senior program
officer of Mercy Corps; Jonathan Reckford,
pastoral leader for Habitat for Humanity; Maj.
George Hood, national community relations
secretary of the Salvation Army; Bob Forney,
president and CEO of America's Second Harvest;
John Hill of the National Next of Kin Registry;
Nancy Aossey, president and CEO of the
International Medical Corp.; and Lt. Gen. H.
Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard.
August 28, 2005
NOKR PREPARES FOR HURRICANE KATRINA
The National Next of Kin Registry (NOKR) would
like to ask the Media to inform the public to
safeguard themselves and their family during
Hurricane Katrina by register at the NOKR.
NOKR is a high-speed solution to locating your
Next Of Kin or Emergency point of contact in
urgent situations when an individual is missing,
injured or deceased.
If your living in the hurricanes path or you
have family in the potential landfall area you
need to use NOKR.
NOKR is a free service to the public as well as
the Local and State agencies using the search
service. To register or learn more, visit the
organizations website at http://www.nokr.org.
NOKR resource links can be found on the States
State Of Louisiana
State Of Mississippi
Living in Mississippi
State Of Texas
On front page Under Featured Site
NOKR also is listed on the Florida State
http://florida.gov under Hot Topics and also
Thank you for bringing this information to the
August 3, 2005
Site aids police search for next of kin
By ABIGAIL BLECK
to view the video
non-profit organization is relying on the power,
ease and speed of the Internet to notify family
members in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Wednesday the Troy Police Department joined forces
with a national Web service that will help them to
do their jobs better. But most importantly, it
will help families to deal with what they hope
will never happen.
There's an aspect of Detective Sgt. John Cooney's
job as a member of the Troy Police Department's
Special Victim's Unit that he doesn't like:
informing family members that their loved one is
either seriously injured or dead.
is a difficult job, but we've learned to be
sympathetic, compassionate and also direct.
It's the best approach,” Cooney said.
new tool might not make that difficult task any
less emotional, but it will make locating families
easier. The free, online
of Kin Registry allows you to enter the
contact information for the person you want
notified in case of an emergency. Then law
enforcement agencies like Troy police access the
password-protected site and connect with that
intended family member directly.
“It's tough to ask around within a family who you
need to talk to without coming through with
information you might want to keep close to the
vest until you talk to that next of kin,” Cooney
NOKR will also allow cops like Cooney to do their
job better. Sometimes hours can be wasted
trying to track down a relative and in emergency
situations every second counts. It’s a high
tech solution to a tough situation.
“This department is vigilant about how we do our
notifications -- always in person with someone
prepared to do it right,” Cooney said.
NOKR is a free service for the public as well as
the local and state agencies using it.
site promises that registration is secure and
Cooney didn't see anything on it that would lead
him to think otherwise.
August 2, 2005
Next of Kin Registry Helps Locate Loved Ones in
When somebody dies or is to close to death, the
Sheriff's Office has the grim task of finding
family and letting them know what happened.
"It never gets easier, no matter how you look
at it, you are delivering bad news to a family,"
said Lt. Bill Rule.
But sometimes just finding next of kin can be
tough in itself. People move around a lot and
many have given up home phones for cell phones,
that means they aren't in the phone book and are
hard to reach.
"They're not listed in the directory, they're
not listed in 411, so it does make it even more
difficult to find people," said Rule.
Now a new website could make locating families
easier. The National Next of Kin Registry or
nokr.org allows people to enter the names of loved
ones on a secure site. That information will then
be given to law enforcement agencies like the
Collier County Sheriff's Office. So far, 5
million people have signed up for the free
"With people moving around so much, I would
just encourage everybody to keep your information
up to date, your driver's license up to date, and
your next of kin info at you employer up to date,"
Registry helps track down next of kin
June 12, 2005
resident Mark Cerney
When Mark Cerney and his wife were on
their honeymoon in Hawaii, someone close
to him died and was buried before he ever
found out about it.
"To say I was devastated is an
understatement," said Cerney, 38, a former
Marine who lives in Temecula with his wife
and three children.
Attuned to the plethora of technological
options available these days, he wondered
why no system existed to notify relatives
of people who were either dead or injured,
but couldn't speak for themselves.
The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001,
reinforced his conviction that something
was lacking in the ability to notify
family when emergency response officials
were carrying bodies out of the rubble of
the World Trade Center and people didn't
know if their relatives were among the
dead, he said.
Inspired to act, he enlisted his wife to
help him in his effort. They originally
intended to find someone else who was
already working to expedite the contact
process so they could help promote the
service. But they couldn't find anything
remotely like that, he said.
So they decided to do it themselves.
They created the National Next of Kin
Registry, a free service that takes
advantage of the Internet to provide peace
of mind to the family and friends
information for people who are missing,
injured or dead. To date, about 4 million
people, most in the United States, have
registered, he added.
While the service is listed on the front
page of the California state Web site and
is also accessible on FirstGov.gov, the
federal government's Web portal, officials
with both the California Highway Patrol
headquarters in Sacramento and the
California State Coroners Association said
they hadn't heard of it.
How it works
To register, people visit the Web site and
enter information on themselves and their
relatives or family members and their
emergency contact information. The
information is kept secure and only
certain agencies can access it, Cerney
Registrants then print out a card that
shows they are a member of the site. Those
who mail in their applications also
receive a decal that shows they're
registered that can be affixed to driver's
licenses and identification cards, Cerney
If anything happens to the people
registered on the site, law enforcement
and coroners who request authorization to
access the site then have a quick and easy
way to obtain emergency contact
information, Cerney said.
"Once you leave home, if something
happens, who will be contacted?" he said.
"Would (authorities) know who to contact
automatically? These agencies have a lot
of resources. This is just a direct point
of contact. It's not the solution, but
it's a good first step."
Ultimately he would like the service to be
so well-known and well-used that agencies
access it automatically ---- even when
it's not obvious that someone has
registered, he said.
And, the service is free, a rarity these
"Some individuals don't have the means,"
Cerney said. "If you're affluent or
homeless, I think you deserve the benefit
of dignity if something happens to you."
Anyone could jot down their emergency
contact information and stick it in their
wallet, Cerney acknowledged, but he
created the system as a wake-up call to
motivate people to consider the issue on a
large scale, he said.
"There's no collaborative effort to get
people across the U.S. to think about that
proactively," he said.
The service is also beneficial for those
with cell phones who are not listed in the
phone book, said Mel Mulligan, a friend of
Cerney's and member of the organization's
board of directors.
"How does law enforcement or other
agencies track down next of kin in that
kind of situation?" Mulligan asked.
Quite a few homeless people have
registered, specifying that they don't
have a permanent address and entering
identifying information such as scars or
tattoos, as well as emergency contact
information, Cerney said.
The organization also has volunteers who
fan out to places such as churches and
convalescent centers and give people there
information on how to register, Cerney
Gary Tindel, president of the California
State Coroners Association, said the idea
is a good one because coroners typically
try all kinds of ways to dig up emergency
"We have problems every week with death
cases trying to find next of kin," he
Labor of love
After launching the service in Washington
state about a year and a half ago, Cerney
and his wife, Kerri, plunked $95,000 into
the nonprofit from the sale of their home
and moved south.
They moved to Temecula in July because
they believed Southern California would be
a strategic area to serve the state, which
is all they intended to do at first, Mark
Cerney said. It was also a way to get back
home because he is originally from San
Diego and his wife is from Riverside.
But the service grew so fast that it
quickly outgrew California, he said. It is
now available in 28 states, with 14 others
pending, Cerney said, adding that they're
working on getting the rest of the country
online as well.
He works in a home office where he can sit
at his desk sans shoes, as he did during
an interview in early May. His home office
has shelves crammed with a collection of
Coca-Cola items that came from one of his
favorite uncles, he said.
As a former Marine, Cerney is used to
dealing with stress. But being part of
such traumatic events in people's lives
has taken a toll, he said.
"I cry a lot," he said. "It's
disheartening. We get phone calls and
e-mails every day about people missing,"
The next goal for the nonprofit is to
raise $5 million for a Reach Out to
America campaign, a grassroots effort to
let people throughout the country know
that the service is available, with an
emphasis on educating rural America, he
A frustrating experience of not knowing
what befell a loved one happened to Laura
Greenwald, CEO of the Next of Kin
Education Project, when her grandmother
was hospitalized after a fall in Illinois
and the hospital didn't contact her or her
mother for 6 1/2 days. Her grandmother
died before they could get to the
hospital, she said.
Like Cerney and his wife, Greenwald, along
with her mother, decided to fill the void.
With the help of state legislators, they
wrote legislation for California and
Illinois that says when a patient who is
unconscious or unable to give consent is
admitted to a hospital, the staff has to
call the next-of-kin or some emergency
contact within 24 hours.
The law was enacted in both states in
2001, Greenwald said. They also helped
craft federal next-of-kin legislation that
was recently introduced in the House of
Representatives. It requires hospitals
that receive Medicare funding to make
"reasonable efforts" to get in touch with
family members and other emergency
contacts of an incapacitated patient
within 24 hours of arrival.
In trying to help hospitals access
emergency contact information for
patients, they used the National Next of
Kin Registry as an example of a potential
resource for hospital staff.
But the service isn't quite ready for
hospitals to access the Web site, Mark
Cerney said. The Cerney's are working on
creating a monitoring and accountability
system so more industries, such as
hospitals, can access the registry, he
Greenwald and her mother, Janet, are fans
of Cerney's Web site, Laura Greenwald
"We really thought there should be some
sort of a database where hospitals could
go and find that information easily. ...We
contacted (Mark) and said, 'This is
great,'" Greenwald said.
And Mark Cerney gave kudos to the
Greenwalds for trying to turn their
misfortune into a federal law that can
help people throughout the country.
"I really feel for their family what
they've gone through," he said. "She and
her mom have done really fantastic things
in enacting laws in California and
Illinois. Their tenacity is paying off.
And having accountability for all these
hospitals across the country, I think it's
Contact staff writer Deirdre Newman at
(951) 676-4315, Ext. 2623, or
Friday June 3, 2005
National Next Of
Kin Registry Honors Volunteer with
President’s Volunteer Service Award
Award is a Prestigious National
Honor for Volunteer Service
Temecula, CA –NOKR today announced it has
awarded 1 volunteer with the
Volunteer Service Award, a national honor
offered in recognition of volunteer service.
Established in 2003, the
is available on an annual basis to individuals,
groups and families who have met or exceeded
requirements for volunteer service and have
demonstrated exemplary citizenship through
volunteering. As one of hundreds of
Certifying Organizations participating in the
program, NOKR confers the award to
recognize the outstanding achievements of its
Jessica Harris of Northford Connecticut volunteered
as an NOKR Emergency Contact Volunteer
ECV'S explain NOKR's free service to individuals in their
community and provide assistance completing the
next of kin/emergency contact registration form
for NOKR. Jessica has taken this volunteer
service/commitment very serious.
follow through attitude is a true testament to her
“In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President
George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps, and
called on every American to make a lifelong
commitment to volunteer service. The
Volunteer Service Award recognizes
individuals and families who have answered that
call,” said Mark Cerney, President, of NOKR.
“America’s volunteers work to make our communities
stronger and safer. As a Certifying Organization
Award program, NOKR is proud to be aligned
with this prestigious volunteer award, and we are
especially proud of our volunteers who have made
volunteer service a central part of their lives.”
President’s Volunteer Service Award is an
award for volunteer service that every American –
from every age and every walk of life – can aspire
to achieve. To be eligible to receive the
individuals, families and groups submit a record
of their annual volunteer service hours to
participating Certifying Organizations, such as
NOKR, that will verify the service and deliver the
eligibility for individuals and groups is based on
hour requirements varying by age.
“These recipients of the
Volunteer Service Award are role models for
all Americans,” Mark Cerney said. “Each
volunteer hour contributed makes a difference in
improving the quality of life for others, and I
encourage everyone to contribute to our community
by volunteering. Volunteers bring us closer
together as families, as communities and as a
Nation, through their commitment.”
is issued by the President’s Council on Service
and Civic Participation, a group created by
President Bush to recognize the valuable
contributions volunteers are making to our Nation.
Chaired by two-time Super Bowl Champion Darrell
Green, with former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John
Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the Council comprises
leaders in government, media, entertainment,
business, education, nonprofits and volunteer
service organizations, and community
For more information about volunteering for NOKR,
For more information about how to qualify for the
Volunteer Service Award and to find out how
to identify additional volunteer opportunities in
this area, visit www.PresidentialServiceAwards.gov
or call 1-866-545-5307.
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May
Contact: Frank Watkins,
Jackson Introduces Next Of Kin
The Elaine Sullivan Act,
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., introduced
H.R. 2560, into the House of Representatives
today. H.R. 2560, also known as the "Elaine
Sullivan Act", is designed to protect patients
who are brought into a hospital unconscious or
physically unable to give informed consent by
making sure that their emergency contact or
Next of Kin will be contacted within 24 hours.
"Most hospitals notify the Next of Kin of
unconscious emergency room arrivals relatively
quickly. However, emergency rooms are
extremely high-pressured, intense and sometime
chaotic environments. In the hustle and bustle
of the ER, despite the dedication and
professionalism of staff, there are real risks
that a simple phone call may not be made in a
legislation is not intended to frustrate the
mission of hospitals, but rather, facilitate
it. It's about notifying the right people at
the right time in order to share the right
information during an emergency. It's a small,
but significant measure to protect the
voiceless and the vulnerable. Not only is it
important to have a family member present to
comfort the patient, but also to make informed
decisions the patient can't make for him or
herself and to provide the medical history
that could very well be the difference between
life and death," Jackson concluded.
The bill makes
federal grants available to qualified
not-for-profit organizations to establish and
operate a national Next of Kin registry.
People would voluntarily sign up. Hospitals
would have access to the registry and could
then notify the Next of Kin in case of an
emergency. It requires hospitals that receive
Medicare funding to make reasonable efforts to
contact a family member, specified healthcare
agent, or surrogate decision-maker of an
incapacitated patient within 24 hours of
arrival at the emergency department. It is
modeled after similar laws in Illinois and
The bill is
named for Elaine Sullivan, who at 71-years
old, fell in her apartment and was taken to a
nearby hospital. Although her daughter's phone
number was in Elaine's chart, the hospital
failed to notify Jan that her mother, Elaine,
had been hospitalized. Just a few hours after
she was finally notified, Elaine died,
daughter and granddaughter, Jan and Laura
Greenwald, have worked to prevent similar
tragedies from happening to other families.
April 21, 2005
National Next Of Kin
Registry (NOKR) Joins With President Bush’s
Council on Service and Civic Participation
President’s Volunteer Service Award
Award Honors Outstanding Commitment to Volunteer
Temecula, CA – NOKR
today announced it has teamed with the White House
to become a Certifying Organization for the
Volunteer Service Award, a national program
recognizing Americans who have demonstrated a
sustained commitment to volunteer service.
Established in 2003, the
was created by President George W. Bush to give
Presidential recognition to individuals, families
and groups who meet requirements for volunteer
service, measured by the number of service hours
performed over 12-months.
NOKR is one of
thousands of organizations that have joined forces
to deliver the
President’s Volunteer Service Award and honor the volunteers
who strengthen our Nation. As a Certifying
Organization for the
NOKR is responsible for verifying service hours,
nominating potential recipients and delivering the
“We are extremely
proud to recognize our most outstanding volunteers
with the President’s Volunteer Service Award,” said Mark Cerney
President. “NOKR volunteers are role
models in our community, donating their time,
energy and talent to bring us closer together as
neighbors and a Nation. The
is our way of thanking these volunteers and
inspiring everyone in our community to make
volunteering a central part of their lives.”
“Even if you’ve never
volunteered before, the
Volunteer Service Award is within your
reach,” Mark Cerney said. “There are so many ways
to contribute, and every volunteer hour makes a
difference in improving the quality of life for
others. We encourage everyone to get
involved and to bring along your family, friends
and neighbors. Together, we can strengthen
America – one hour at a time.”
Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and
Civic Participation, a group convened by President
George W. Bush to help foster and encourage a
culture of volunteer service and civic
participation among Americans. Chaired by two-time
Super Bowl Champion Darrell Green, with former
U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary
co-chairs, the Council is composed of leaders in
government, media, entertainment, business,
education, nonprofit and volunteer service
organizations and community volunteering.
For more information about volunteering with NOKR,
visit the organizations website
http://nokr.org/volunteer.htm. For more
information on the
Volunteer Service Award and to find out how
to identify additional volunteer opportunities in
this area, visit
www.PresidentialServiceAwards.gov or call
Helps Locate Family Members, Friends
Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2005 – As news coverage of
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks flashed
across television and computer screens, thousands
of Americans wondered if family members living in
or visiting New York or Washington, D.C., were
alive and well.
Partially due to
the personal turmoil caused by the 9/11 attacks,
Mark Cerney, a disabled U.S. Marine veteran,
established the National Next-of-Kin Registry, a
free emergency contact system that can help
citizens find missing loved ones in the event of
serious accidents or catastrophic national
funded NOKR was officially established in January
2004, Cerney said during a Feb. 24 telephone
interview from his office in Temecula, Calif. Four
million people, he said, have registered to date.
People can input personal data about themselves or
loved ones at the registry's Web site.
Cerney explained, include families and individuals
registering personal information about themselves,
their children, other relatives, and friends.
"All we need is a
name and address as far as a point of contact (is
concerned)," he pointed out, noting registrants
may provide additional information if they so
Cerney said he
first became interested in starting a next-of-kin
registry in 1990, when a family member died at a
convalescent facility in San Diego.
"To my dismay,
there was no way to contact me," noted Cerney, who
was in Hawaii at the time, "even though the people
at the facility knew that I was the next – of
He recalled that
he'd lost cell-phone contact with a close friend
who was in New York City on the day of the
terrorist attacks. The friend survived, but Cerney
said he was shaken by the experience.
Cerney cited U.S.
Centers for Disease Control statistics from 2003
that said 900,000 people in hospital emergency
rooms that year couldn't provide emergency contact
information because they were incapacitated by
illness or injury. Several states, he noted,
recently have passed laws requiring hospitals to
collect information on patients' next of kin.
driver's licenses, Cerney pointed out, may contain
some personal information, but "don't list a next
of kin" in the event of an accident that may occur
far away from the victim's home. And, most Social
Security records, he added, don't identify next of
And, for people who
are single and live alone, Cerney observed, it's
much harder for authorities to make a next-of-kin
identification organizations exist, Cerney
acknowledged, but they charge as much as $200 for
their services. The NOKR gives affluent, less-
wealthy, and indigent citizens the opportunity to
archive personal information "in the event that
that information is needed," he said.
The NOKR is unique,
Cerney said, noting, "There's been no resource
like this anywhere in the United States."
linked to the NOKR, Cerney noted, include the
"FirstGov" federal government Web site, the
International Committee of the Red Cross, the
National Center for Missing Adults, the National
Association of Medical Examiners, the Amber Alert
missing children system, homeless care
organizations, and several state and local
government and police agencies and coroner's
The registry also
is linked to the Canadian Resource Centre for
Victims of Crime, he said, as well as several
tsunami-victim locator groups.
hesitate to use the NOKR because of privacy
concerns shouldn't worry, Cerney said. Minimum
information required for registration can be found
in phone books, he explained, and much greater
amounts of personal information can now be readily
purchased over the Internet.
Indiana, Putnam County Coroner
February 18, 2005
Would authorities know who to contact in case you
were in an accident or emergency?
The Putnam County Coroner's Office is encouraging
citizens to register with the National Next of Kin
Registry to avoid that issue.
Coroner Thomas B. Miller has recently learned of
this website, which allows a person to register
online. It allows only local and state agencies
access to the information to locate next of kin
information in the event of an emergency.
"In the past, the coroner's office has had extreme
difficulty locating the next of kin to notify of
one's death," Miller said. "I wish to encourage
individuals to take a little time to register not
only themselves, but also all of their loved ones.
The information can be utilized not only by
coroner's offices throughout the state, but also
by law enforcement agencies, hospitals as well as
other state agencies working to locate a next of
National Next of Kin Registry is a nonprofit
public benefit organization. NOKR does not share
personal information for the general population to
view or purchase. NOKR is archiving information
for emergency use only.
"I will register anyone who does not have access
to a computer," Miller said. "I am also always
available to answer questions about NOKR or the
coroner's office. Feel free to call me at
Anyone wishing to register can access the website
NATIONAL NEXT OF KIN REGISTRY
(NOKR) CAMPAIGNS ACROSS AMERICA
Many people believe that if
they are carrying a driver's license or
identification card, authorities will know who
their emergency contact is in case someone is
missing, injured or deceased. Often times though,
the information is not current or readily
available and it becomes very difficult to locate
next of kin. In one example, the NOKR system would
benefit the scores of individuals that arrive in
emergency rooms across the country, that are
unable to provide vital contact information.
According to the US Center For Disease Control
that number was significant at 900,000 in 2003.
Temecula, CA February 9, 2005 -- In a campaign
marked "Reach Out to America" NOKR will
Reach Out to 250 cities across the nation,
registering and educating Americans on the free,
international emergency contact system. Through a
mobile command center, NOKR will be stationed in
each city for three days for individuals to
register themselves and their family members. The
program is aimed specifically toward children,
elderly, the homeless and those without Internet
or media access. People who register will receive
either a decal for their driver's license or
identification card, an official registration card
or a metal identification tag that indicates they
(or their family member) are registered.
This will be the largest ever
campaign to register next of kin in the nation.
NOKR is a system intended to help public agencies
locate a registered individual's next of kin or
emergency point of contact. With the recent
tsunami in Southeast Asia, many people in the
United States have been affected. With so many
individuals missing, authorities can find it
difficult to locate next of kin. NOKR works in
alliance with members of local and international
authorities to quickly identify the next of kin.
The non-profit organization is
looking to raise $5 million for supplies and
equipment for the nationwide outreach program,
relying solely on donations to provide its
services. In the event of a natural,
man-made disaster or even a terrorist act, this
registry has a true value to help locate an
individual's Next Of Kin or emergency point of
To donate or register, or for more information,
visit the website at
New program to make
emergency notification to families quicker
February 08, 2005
New program to make emergency notification to
In an emergency, time
is critical. When anything happens, not only is it
important for the victims to be taken care of
immediately, it is necessary that someone be
notified of the situation.
"Often when something happens, everyone ends up
standing around scratching their heads wondering,
'Who is this person?' and 'Who do we contact?',"
Rob Douglas, Falls County Emergency Management,
said. "That is where the National Next of Kin
Registry is a big help."
The National Next of
Kin Registry (NOKR) is a nonprofit organization
created to assist in the notification process when
an individual is missing, critically injured or
deceased. It is a quick solution to locating
anyone's Next Of Kin in urgent situations.
"It is a free service and anyone can sign up,"
Douglas said. "All information that is provided in
registration is protected and secure. The only
people with access to the information is law
enforcement and emergency management agencies."
The way the system works, is anyone can visit the
NOKR website (www.pleasenotifyme.org) and fill out
the registration page or fill out a form to
mail-in or fax to register either themselves and a
point of contact for next of kin, or they can
register a family member and a point of contact.
Who is set to be notified is up to the individual.
If can be family, friend or significant other as a
point of contact. Each registration is date
stamped, and it is possible to register multiple
times. If someone registers several times, each
registration is stored and indexed individually by
date. The information is kept secure and is sent
encrypted to a secure area on a separate server
once registration is complete.
Emergency management coordinators would like to
see everyone participate," Douglas said.
"It is a very time consuming process to located
family members in an emergency. Often the
information is not available at all. This service
will make that process faster and simpler."
When registering, NOKR only asks for the
individual's name, address, city and state.
Optionally, they can add their telephone number,
date of birth/age or upload an optional photo. For
the Next Of Kin, they only collect name, address,
city and state. Optionally it is possible to also
provide a telephone number and email address. The
optional items are just that, optional.
"All information is protected," Douglas said. "The
information is never released to the public, only
There are no limitations to the service. It is
dedicated to helping individuals with the
notification process Internationally. This service
can be used to register anyone, including a child,
teenager, older individuals living alone, and
homeless. In the event of a natural, man-made
disaster or even a terrorist act, this registry
has a true value to help locate an individual's
Next Of Kin or emergency point of contact.
"It helps EMS and police departments locate family
members," Douglas said. "Its all about doing it as
soon as possible."
To register with NOKR, visit their website at
http://www.pleasenotifyme.org, or pick up an
application to mail or fax at city hall or at
The Marlin Democrat office.