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Red Cross Relief Operation

Here’s what the Red Cross is doing. It is great work. You can give money here.

Haiti Earthquake

January 21, 2010

RED CROSS RELIEF OPERATION

What is the situation in Haiti?

  • The situation in Haiti is dire. The infrastructure of the country is severely damaged – airports, ports and roads – making it difficult for aid to get in.
  • People are still in need of basic items like food, water and medical care, and this is frustrating for humanitarian organizations like the American Red Cross.
  • It is still difficult to get planes caring humanitarian aid into the airport. The roads are heavily congested and travel by road from the Dominican Republic has gone from an 8-hour journey to an 18-hour journey.
  • We are working with the US government to discuss how these issues can be alleviated, and we applaud the U.S. Armed Forces, which are on the ground and doing a great job.
  • Despite the problems, there are glimmers of progress. The pipeline of aid was a straw only a few days ago, and now it’s a garden hose, but we need it to become a fire hose.
  • It is also important to note that Port-au-Prince is so central to the economy and governance of Haiti that this disaster not only affected the earthquake victims (est. 3 million), but the entire population of Haiti (est. 9 million).

What is the American Red Cross doing specifically?

  • The American Red Cross, working alongside Red Cross and Red Crescent teams from around the world, is making heroic efforts to reach as many people as possible and is truly making a difference.
  • American Red Cross staff, armed with first aid kits, are treating the wounded and getting the severely wounded to hospitals.
  • The American Red Cross is providing basic relief items and tents for shelter.
  • The American Red Cross is also sending approximately 3 million pre-packaged meals to Haiti, and will partner with the World Food Program to distribute them to survivors over the weekend.
  • Today (Thursday), nearly 70 American Red Cross Creole-speaking volunteers have left Miami to join the USNS Comfort offshore in Haiti tomorrow. Once aboard, they will serve as interpreters for patients receiving medical care from the U.S. military.

Who is leading the American Red Cross effort?

  • American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern visited relief operations in Haiti yesterday to help coordinate aid distribution.
  • She witnessed the extensive damage and need as well as the growing presence of Red Cross services.
  • She met with and is planning for a multi-year recovery operation with other Red Cross leaders from around the world and heads of state from the region.

What is the Red Cross overall doing in Haiti?

  • The American Red Cross is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world, and there are now Red Cross and Red Crescent teams from 30 countries helping in Haiti.
  • Working alongside volunteers from the Haitian Red Cross, which suffered its own losses from the earthquake, Red Cross societies are providing aid in a number of different areas.
  • We all have our roles; we all have our expertise, and we’re all working together. That is a very powerful engine for relief.
  • For example, Red Cross responders from seven countries are treating injuries and performing surgery at hospitals and medical centers throughout the capital city.
  • Red Cross teams from Latin America and Asia, trained in urban search and rescue, are supporting local authorities.
  • Others are focused on purifying the water supply available in the country and expect to deliver clean drinking water to 200,000 people (17 settlements) each day by truck.
  • Local Haitian Red Cross volunteers are providing emotional support for traumatized survivors and responders as well as first aid support.
  • The ICRC family links Web site (www.icrc.org/familylinks), designed to help reconnect separated families, has received 23,900 registrations since the earthquake. Yesterday (Wednesday), the Red Cross helped more than 340 people in Haiti make international phone calls to their families to say they are safe and well as well as register an additional 178 on the site.
  • This is an enormous relief operation now, but we also know it will be a massive long-term recovery effort and the Red Cross will be there throughout.
  • This is already the largest single-country personnel deployment in global Red Cross history. The number of emergency response teams in or en route to Haiti equals those that responded to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami – an emergency that spanned 14 countries.
  • It is clear that what took minutes to destroy will take many years and the collective support from governments and relief agencies across the world to help mend. The American Red Cross is working in close coordination with other responding organizations and will undoubtedly collaborate on joint, long-term recovery projects.
  • The American Red Cross has been on the ground since before the earthquake and has been expanding our relief operation as quickly as the situation on the ground will allow.
  • There are more than 400 Red Cross workers from around the world in Haiti as well as thousands of local volunteers.
  • The Red Cross – through first aid posts, hospitals, relief distribution sites, water trucking programs and family linking stations – is making life better for people on the ground every minute.
  • The Red Cross has now been able to reach survivors outside the capital city, providing first aid in camps and prioritizing the need for food, water and other basic supplies.
  • Red Cross responders from seven countries are also treating injuries and performing surgery at hospitals and medical centers throughout the capital city.
  • Today (Thursday), nearly  70 American Red Cross Creole-speaking volunteers have left Miami to join the USNS Comfort offshore in Haiti tomorrow. Once aboard, they will serve as interpreters for patients receiving medical care from the U.S. military.

Is the Red Cross helping to evacuate U.S. citizens from Haiti?

  • No. The U.S. State Department is responsible for evacuating U.S. citizens from Haiti and the Red Cross coordinates with the State Department and other government agencies to support these citizens when they reach the United States.

Is the Red Cross helping individuals arriving from Haiti to the United States?

  • Yes. Some Red Cross chapters are providing services at points of entry, e.g., South Florida, as citizens arrive in the United States from Haiti.  These may vary slightly depending on the needs of those Americans as they arrive. Services may include: shelter, food, emotional support, basic first aid, comfort kits and referrals to other community services.

How can people find a missing relative in Haiti?

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross has established a family linking Web site, enabling persons in Haiti and abroad to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake: www.icrc.org/familylinks.
  • If you’re trying to reach a U.S. citizen living or traveling in Haiti, you should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747.

Is the Red Cross accepting volunteers or goods for Haiti?

  • We appreciate these heartfelt offers, but we are only deploying Red Cross volunteers specially trained to manage international emergency operations. At this time, what we need the most are financial contributions – whether by check, online or by phone. There is nowhere to store or sort items like clothing, or a way to ship them to Haiti at this time. Visit www.cidi.org for a list of organizations that are accepting personal and household goods.

What about medical volunteers?

  • The American Red Cross is not recruiting medical volunteers for the Haiti response. Visit www.cidi.org to register your desire to be a medical volunteer and/or find organizations are recruiting for medical volunteers.
  • For future reference, if you would like to become a medical volunteer for the American Red Cross for domestic disasters, please contact your local Red Cross chapter. Please go to our homepage, www.redcross.org and enter your zip code on the far right side of the homepage. Continue reading Red Cross Relief Operation

Red Cross Update

September 13, 2008

As Hurricane Ike pounded Houston, Galveston, and a wide area of the Gulf Coast of Texas, Red Cross disaster relief teams were already there preparing for the worst.

Red Cross was ready for Ike:

  • More than 100 mobile feeding trucks were moved into Texas this week More than a million shelf stable meals are in the state More than 1,400 disaster workers are on the ground there Preparing to open shelters and support the shelter hub system in Texas We are planning for a total capacity of 500,000 meals a day We have tens of thousands of cots, blankets and comfort kits in Texas We moved additional units of blood into North Texas in anticipation of Hurricane Ike.
  • As Hurricane Ike hit during the night and early this morning, the Greater Houston Area Red Cross and Red Cross chapters across the state were poised to open shelters after the storm moves through. More than 30 disaster action team volunteers from Western North Carolina Red Cross chapters have been deployed to assist the Texas Red Cross chapters.
  • Currently, in support of the State’s Hub Plan, Red Cross State-wide has more than 75 Shelters open housing more than 9,800 residents. This includes 4 shelters in the Huntsville area housing more than 1,332 residents supported by the Greater Houston Area American Red Cross as part of the state’s Shelter Hub in Huntsville, Texas.
  • Once Hurricane Ike has passed the Red Cross will be opening post-disaster shelter locations for families who have been displaced from their homes by the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike. Those who have evacuated should let family members and loved ones know your plans and register with the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website. This website provides a way for those who have evacuated to register as “safe and well.” From a list of standard messages, a person can select those that he/she wants to communicate to your family members, letting them know of his/her well-being. Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well.”
  • The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.