By Jan Carabeo

By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Red Cross volunteers from all across the country will start arriving in Philadelphia today and many will be staying across the street from the Red Cross’ Center City location at a school through the weekend.

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The Red Cross has a plan for whatever develops over the next couple days and if you’re coming to Center City, they want you to have a plan too, so you and your family can stay safe and just as important — stay together while navigating the crowds.

Home base for the Red Cross in Philadelphia is already hopping and activity there will only get busier.

About 600 volunteers will check in today at the 23rd and Chestnut Street location and are prepared to stay through the papal visit.

Some are driving from as far away as Detroit to take part.

“We have volunteers that said “I will get in the car and drive myself there because this is important for the Red Cross to be responding,” says Red Cross Director of Communications, Anthony Tornetta.

The Red Cross will have two main roles this weekend: medical assistance and family reunification.

In fact, a toll-free help line went active overnight to assistant visitors who get separated from their loved ones while navigating through Philadelphia. .

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“If you’re lost and separated from your family,” says Leo Pratte, Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer, “call that number and we’ll have a team of people there to help reunify you with your family.”

The best bet, the Red Cross says, is to have a plan before you step foot in Center City.

There’s going to be 12 Red Cross family reunification centers – located throughout Philadelphia that you can set as a family meeting point.

Despite efforts to improve cell phone reliability around the festival grounds … the Red Cross says you need a back-up plan in case your phone loses service.

“Pick one of the locations as your rally point,” says Pratte, “that’s the best method if you’re lost and can’t use the phone, go to this location and we’ll meet you there.”

And of course, you can always ask a police officer for help they’ll bring you to nearest Red Cross center for assistance.

“If you need help, contact the Red Cross, we are ready and willing,” says Tornetta.

The toll-free help line number is 1-855-259-2114. The 12 Red Cross family reunification centers are located at:

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American College of Physicians: 190 N Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106
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