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Boston Marathon bombings: How you can check on friends or relatives

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Southern Californians who may be concerned about relatives or friends potentially affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon can consult a number of resources for information about their loved ones.

The Red Cross operates a “Safe and Well” website where people in disaster areas can register and their families can search to see what their condition is:

Disasters often make it difficult to stay in touch with loved ones. The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a central location for people in disaster areas in the United States to register their current status, and for their loved ones to access that information. It helps provide displaced families with relief and comfort during a stressful time.

Google, meanwhile, has activated a special Boston Marathon version of its Person Finder. Like the Red Cross site,

Google Person Finder helps people reconnect with friends and loved ones in the aftermath of natural and humanitarian disasters.

RELATED: UPDATED: 2 killed as bombs explode at Boston Marathon, SoCal officials up security (video, photos)

Boston Police are directing inquiries to a city hotline set up to take calls about potential victims. It's the same number as the Boston mayor's 24 Hour Constituent Service hotline: (617) 635-4500. KPCC tried to call the number but received a busy signal, so you may have to keep trying. 

If you want to donate blood for victims of the Boston Marathon explosions, you should contact your local Red Cross office. You can also call the Red Cross' main helpline for more information: (800) 733-2767

Officials are issuing warnings to concerned citizens to be wary of solicitations on Twitter, by email and on Facebook for donations to support victims: Many of these entreaties are bogus or scams. Call or write directly to local charities you know and trust to inquire about sending donations for the Boston victims.

Finally, Boston police are asking people with any information about the bombings to call the 1-800-494-TIPS hotline. 

Let us know if you come across other resources we can share with our Southern California audience. 

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