OnStar by GM and American Red Cross Partner to Provide Information to Those in Crisis Situations

Jun 07, 2007, 01:00 ET from General Motors Corporation

    DETROIT, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- With the 2007 hurricane season upon us,
 OnStar by GM and the American Red Cross announce a partnership to provide
 disaster relief information and assistance to OnStar subscribers in or near
 disaster-affected areas. During a hurricane or other crisis event, OnStar
 will be able to quickly access the Red Cross online crisis services
 information to direct OnStar subscribers to open shelters, feeding sites,
 and other disaster services. While the information is available to the
 public through the Red Cross, subscribers to OnStar will be able to get the
 information without placing an additional call.
     During a crisis many people are displaced by evacuations to unfamiliar
 areas. Using GPS locations, OnStar subscribers can obtain local and
 relevant crisis information. This partnership will allow OnStar to route
 subscribers to the nearest shelter with available space.
     Through the Red Cross Safe and Well Website -- accessible at
 www.redcross.org -- OnStar advisors can also help register subscribers so
 that their families and friends know that they are safe.
     "The Red Cross is always looking for innovative ways to provide
 disaster information to more people in more places," said Rick Davis, Red
 Cross Director of Emergency Communications. "This partnership allows us to
 use the technological power and broad reach of OnStar to connect people who
 are affected by a disaster and who may be on the move to escape harm. We
 know this will be a useful and important tool for very large numbers of
 people as we enter the upcoming hurricane season."
     "Our partnership with the American Red Cross allows us to offer more
 up- to-date crisis response information to our subscribers," said Scott
 Kubicki, Vice President, OnStar Subscriber Services. "Through OnStar Crisis
 Assist, we can help our subscribers navigate out of harm's way or summon
 help during an emergency. Before, during and after a disaster, any
 information that helps families manage crises quickly and safely, when
 every second counts, is information we want to provide through OnStar."
     When severe weather, natural disaster, or other crisis events affect
 OnStar subscribers, OnStar Crisis Assist will allow subscribers in a
 designated crisis area to take advantage of all OnStar services regardless
 of the service plans they have at no additional charge. Subscribers who
 have in- vehicle, hands-free calling service can use it as an alternative
 means of staying connected if they are without power in their homes or
 cannot recharge their cell phone batteries.
     OnStar's Crisis Assist capabilities also include specially trained
 Crisis Advisors, who will work to:
      * Contact emergency responders if needed and direct them to the
        subscriber's location, using OnStar's embedded cellular calling system
        and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology, which
        pinpoint a subscriber's location when he or she contacts an advisor.
      * Provide real time crisis information and centralized assistance for
        food, water, and hotel accommodations along with information on road
        closures, power outages, and weather updates.
      * Share information on available shelters from the American Red Cross
        database and guide subscribers to these locations.
      * Connect subscribers to loved ones, family and friends.
      * List subscribers on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website.
      * Inform appropriate public safety officials when a subscriber contacts
        OnStar about someone in need of emergency assistance.
     The Red Cross began the Safe and Well site to serve as a way for those
 affected by a disaster to let loved ones know they are safe during an
 emergency. They can select from a list of standard messages, such as "I am
 currently at a shelter" or "Will make phone calls when able," to
 communicate with loved ones, letting them know of their well-being.
 Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have
 registered themselves as "safe and well." The results of a successful
 search will display a loved one's first name, last name, an "As of Date,"
 and the selected message.
     Preparation is the best defense in any kind of crisis. The American Red
 Cross and OnStar encourage subscribers to follow the U.S. government's
 recommendations for preparing for crisis situations. For more information
 on preparedness, visit www.redcross.org. For more information on OnStar
 Crisis Assist, visit www.onstar.com.
     About OnStar by GM
     OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the world's
 leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services.
 OnStar is available on more than 50 2007 GM models and includes one year of
 complimentary services, and will one year of service will become standard
 on nearly all GM retail vehicles in the United States by the end of 2007.
 OnStar provides services to more than four million subscribers in the U.S.
 and Canada. Turn-by-Turn Navigation is currently available to subscribers
 that have anti-lock braking systems and the latest generation of OnStar
 hardware. More information about OnStar and all of its services can be
 found at www.onstar.com.
     About the American Red Cross
     The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to
 emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees
 helped victims of almost 75,000 disaster, taught lifesaving skills to
 millions, and helped U.S. service members separated from their families
 stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross,
 the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The
 American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
 Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is
 invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a
 government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do
 its work.

SOURCE General Motors Corporation