A Disaster in Haiti and How You Can Help

Posted by Cheryl Mills
January 13, 2010

More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquakeAbout the Author: Cheryl Mills serves as the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Earlier today, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti. Reports are still coming in, but it appears that many schools, hospitals and other buildings have collapsed, adding more suffering to an already impoverished nation, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Reports continue to pour in from all over and we are extending all our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected.

As Secretary Clinton said earlier, the U.S. government will offer assistance to Haiti and others in the region in the form of civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. You may email inquiries to: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov. We'll provide more details and opportunities to help as we learn more. To stay up-to-date, follow us on state.gov.

Update:Anyone wishing to donate or provide assistance in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, is asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information.You also can send your message to helphaiti@state.gov. Be certain to include in the subject line "Donation of" followed by the products you are willing to donate. A staffer will share the information with relief and development agencies that have the ability to transport collected items to the affected region and have identified needed goods.How To Help:Clinton Bush Haiti Fund | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red CrossRelated entry:Information on Earthquake in Haiti

Comments

Comments

Karen
|
North Carolina, USA
January 17, 2010

Karen in North Carolina writes:

I will take any test necessary and take care of some children until they can be placed with parents. It is so heartbreaking about the children. Lets get them out of there.

Stephen d.
|
South Dakota, USA
January 17, 2010

Stephen D. in South Dakota writes:

Can I go and help? 20 years ER doctor who is ready to go and help! Sign me up have passport and ready to go if not a hinderance.

Joel A.
|
Delaware, USA
January 17, 2010

Joel A. in Delaware writes:

I am a sr computer consultant and trainer. I am slightly physically handicapped but I am ready to go to Haiti to help rebuild the country. I may not be able to dig through the rubble and help with the search for survivors right now but very soon order will need to be restored to the country and I would love to help. I would volunteer to help reopen schools, teach, or help them setup computers to communicate with the rest of the world. I'm ready right now to help.

Jorge J.
|
United States
January 16, 2010

Jorge J. in U.S.A. writes:

We sincerely regret what has happen to Haiti, but we would like to offer our services to your agency. Our company’s Astro Developers in conjunction with Home Builders LLC are large earth moving and developing companies with experience in disaster assistance. Both companies have been involved with rescue and recovery efforts from Hurricane Andrew, Katrina and recently Hurricane Ike that devastated Galveston Island in Texas. We have contractors and engineers in staff to handle any rescue and logistics problems such moving large debris that may hamper rescue efforts to clearing road ways to allow emergency vehicle to pass.

We have heavy equipment deployed at three of our offices Miami, Florida, Galveston, Texas and Banner Elk, North Carolina and can consolidate our equipment at the Port of Miami in 72 hours and be in Haiti 2days after that. We stand to serve you and be of assistance to this grave and sad incident that has shock our hemisphere. We also have the capability to provide water treatment plants at the affected area.

Jorge J.

Director of Operation

LeeAnn H.
|
North Carolina, USA
January 17, 2010

Lee Ann H. in North Carolina writes:

I got a bunch of canned food and I don't know where to take it. I live in Durham, Nc and don't live far from Cary or Raleigh.

Stephen S.
|
Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

Stephen S. in Florida writes:

I am a State of Florida Certified Electrical Contractor. How can my company help with the rebuilding of Haiti.

DipNote B.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 18, 2010

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ DipNote readers -- Thank you for your offers of support and interest in providing assistance to Haiti. We are currently receiving a high volume of comments and are responding to messages as soon as possible. If you require assistance in locating a loved one in Haiti, please call 888-407-4747 or email: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov.

Anyone wishing to donate or provide assistance in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, is asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information. You may call the Center at 703-276-1914.

You also can send your message to helphaiti@state.gov. Be certain to include in the subject line "Donation of" followed by the products you are willing to donate. A staffer will share the information with relief and development agencies that have the ability to transport collected items to the affected region and have identified needed goods.

For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. So far, one million people have donated $10 million in the largest mobile donation campaign to date.

Here are more ways you can find information about helping Haiti: Center for International Disaster Information | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red Cross | Text Donation

More about the crisis: www.state.gov/haitiquake

Keven B.
|
Canada
January 17, 2010

Keven B. in Canada writes:

I would like to offer my home for someone to come and live with us. I am a single mom (58 years of age) with a 19 year old daughter that still lives with me. I don't have much, but I sure can offer love and food and a home to someone.

Danis M.
|
Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

Danis M. in Florida writes:

Your help is greatly appreciated for my country.....
I'm willing to help make this work possible,and willing to travel.... I'm an experience truck driver (CDL) for over 6yrs....handyman....speak Creole,French,English and low intermediate in Spanish....contact me....thnx to USA again.

Eben E.
|
Texas, USA
January 17, 2010

Eben E. in Texas writes:

I want to go to Haiti. I have lived in third world countries, 3 years, and know the risk and work involved. Please help me go.

Suzanne
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 19, 2010

Suzanne in Massachusetts writes:

People in Petit Goave need help--I read these messages on Radio Haiti, the only operational radio station. You can hear it streaming on the web at http://signalfmhaiti.com/

Posted by: jackson s. on Samedi, Janvier 16, 2010 at 06:55:34

4
SOS SOS SOS for the city of Petit Goave located 25 miles southwest of Port au Prince. The population is in great need of drinking water, medical supplies, doctors, food, emergency shelters, heavy equipment,etc.
The water source is contaminated. They desperately need a water purication sytem.

Posted by: Karly L. on Samedi, Janvier 16, 2010 at 08:36:43

5
SOS, SOS, SOS for the city of Petit Goave located 25 miles southwest of Port au Prince. The population is in great need of drinking water, medical supplies, doctors, food,etc. Their water source is contaminated. They desperately need a water purification system.

Victoria R.
|
Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

Victoria R. in Florida writes:

All I can offer is two helping hands and compassion for people. I would like to contribute physically to the rescue efforts in Haiti. Please advise!

Kelli E.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 17, 2010

Kelli E. in Washington writes:

I am writing concerning the orphans who are already in the adoption process in Haiti. I am pleading with you along with hundreds of other families who are or have family members adopting these sweet children in Haiti. PLEASE DO EVERYTHING you can do to accelerate the completion of the process so that these children can come home to families who can take care of them. As you know there are thousands of children who are orphaned. Not only will it help the children who are already being adopted but those who need to be taken care of. It will be fewer mouths to feed and fewer children to care for. PLEASE make this one of your top priorities. It could literally save hundreds of children!

Tami W.
|
Idaho, USA
January 17, 2010

Tami W. in Idaho writes:

Dear Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,

First, I would like to express my gratitude to you and the United States government for their active role in helping the people in Haiti during this terrible disaster.

I am writing concerning some special young children who are to become my grandchildren. They are being adopted by Trevor and Lindsay C. of Pocatello, Idaho. They have been living in the Foyer de Sion orphanage in Port-au-Prince. For almost three years they have been working tirelessly to get these young children safely here in their home. Lindsay travels to Haiti every three months to see her five children and give aide to the 220 others that the orphanage houses. They have already lost one of their Haitian children during this long adoption process. Please help to bring these children home as quickly as possible where they can receive the love and care they deserve with no further paperwork delays. Also, please expedite aid to the orphanages full of children who will still remain in the country.

Thank you so much for your time and efforts in this matter.

TIFFANY H.
|
Georgia
January 17, 2010

Tiffany H. in Georgia writes:

HELLO,

MY NAME IS TIFFANY AND I LIVE IN THE UNITES STATES IN ATLANTA GA. I WORK FOR A LARGE PET STORE/FOOD CHAIN AND AM VERY INTERESTED IN HOLDING A FUNDRAISER TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR ANIMALS IN NEED. I AM THE AMBASSADOR OF THE STORE AND WANT TO HELP. I KNOW SEVERAL WEBSITES HAVE STATED THEY ARE LOOKING FOR BANDAGES AND VACCINES AND THINGS OF THAT NEED BUT HOW CAN WE HELP WITH FOOD AND SUCH? PLEASE EMAIL ME BACK AND LET ME KNOW WHAT I CAN DO. THANKS SO MUCH AND I LOOK FORWARD TO GEARING BACK FROM YOU SOON.

Jill C.
|
Indiana, USA
January 17, 2010

Jill C. in Indiana writes:

I would love to open my heart and home to any haitian orphans. The numbers I am seeing say 3 million orphans! I cannot believe it. So very sad. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in organizing the orphanages or taking in an orphan.

May God be with the people of Haiti.

Matt H.
|
Washington, USA
January 19, 2010

Matt H. in Washington writes:

The magnitude of this horrendous disaster is almost incomprehensible to me and my team here at Trilogy Construction in Seattle. I was in a client's home today doing a walk through while CNN's broadcast of the footage was playing in the background and the scenes of badly wounded, mountains of deceased, and widespread structural leveling rocked me to my very core. More so, than anything I have ever seen. I was instantly hit with the thought that this tragic event must be countered with an immediate response the scale of which has never been seen in this hemisphere if there is any hope of preventing this deplorable atrocity from becoming hell on earth for years to come, for many it already is.

It seems bureaucracy, chain of command, shattered infrastructure, and funding are the main hurdles to immediate action from the countless like minded contractors, medical professionals, and good Samaritans with similar postings here. I would like to reach out to all of you because we may be able to organize more efficiently and deliver tangible results in the short term by communicating with each other and trying to organize a plan. There is also a stateside domestic component that will need to be organized to facilitate the adoptions or fostering of the Haitian children previously orphaned (approx 200,000 pre-quake) and the newly orphaned.

If I was a $100MM company, I would send every man I had willing to go paid. I am not, but I am a custom builder that started learning the trades from the ground up at age 15. I've worked on homes, schools, commercial, and medical facilities. My team and I can perform multiple trades and equipment operation. We are available immediately upon the implementation of an action plan. Anyone out there with plans or an outreach strategy already in progress that we may be able to assist on, please contact me directly since time is of the essence. It will take thousands if not tens of thousands of us, let's organize!

francis d.
|
North Carolina, USA
January 17, 2010

Francis D. in North Carolina writes:

retired military speak read write creole/ french would like to help in haitipls let me know what i can do thank you

Dana S.
|
Canada
January 17, 2010

Dana S. in Canada writes:

There should be free airfare to Haiti to anyone who wish's to volenteer, help us help them

Shirley
|
California, USA
January 19, 2010

Shirley in California writes:

When asked by a new reporter yesterday about Parachuting food and water in to the Haitians Hillary Clinton repeated what had heard from other reports that it would be too dangerous.

I then remembered a story from previous military aide missions and went hunting for the stories with google. Last night Bay Area Radio Talk show host also remembered and told the stories of his research into airdropping Granola bars and MRE.

How do you airdrop desperately needed food to refugees without the payload falling into crushing the recipients? Just throw them out of the Aircraft so they can float down individually – Called “Fluttering” when first used by the military in Bosnia.

News stories of the original drops
http://www.kgoradio.com/Article.asp?id=1662660&nId=0&spid=33179

Story from Afghanistan
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44648
“Since the food drops began Oct. 7, teams of two C-17s flying out of Ramstein during four straight night runs have airdropped more than 140,000 individual daily meals to Afghan refugees, Self said. "That is approximately 17,000 meals per aircraft" per run, Self said, adding that the crews have successfully dropped about 35,000 rations each day. The planes, he noted, are rotated for each mission. “

It is a relatively short flight from Florida to Haiti. DON’T land at the busy Haiti airport, unload and wait to deliver the food - simply fly over and drop the food and let it FLUTTER down individually. Fast and Efficent! The food gets directly into the hands of those who will eat it. No one can pick up more than a few. Children can pick these up. Drop the high nutrition cookies, drop granola bars, drop MRE!

Water can also be safely dropped. You can drop bottles in the water (lots of ocean around). The bottles will not break, they float to the surface and can be gathered by the locals. (Half full bottles work better) Small 4 oz. juice/water foil packets can also be dropped safely with the food.

Although in Port-au-Prince the airspace is restricted in the countryside any aide group with a small airplane could do these drops.

More stories and pictures:

Story from Bosnia
http://www.qmfound.com/air_bosnia.htm

Tri-wall Aerial Delivery System Images
http://www.af.mil/photos/media_search.asp?q=jeremy&page=29
Probably don't even need the special boxes for this operation! - Just drop the MRE or Granola bars.
KEEP IT SIMPLE

The idea is not new. The “Candy Bar Bomber” in the Berlin Airlift did it. He used handkerchief parachutes but these mainly made the candy bars more visible in the drop.
http://www.eaa.org/news/2009/candy_bomber.pdf

hernan r.
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 17, 2010

Hernan R. in Massachusetts writes:

i have training on rescue and search , ready to help , militar and cpr training, also construction experiencie . i am ready to help

Don G.
|
Colorado, USA
January 17, 2010

Don G. in Colorado writes:

I am a general contractor and have 6 to 8 other subcontractors that all have a construction trade and would like to donate our time in Haiti for 1 week. We do have a private jet that will fly us to Haiti and return us home. may also be able to fly 6 to 8 peolpe that are in Haiti that need to return back to the US. Who do I coordinate with to allow us to fly into Haiti and donate our construction experiance for a week, we can help with rescue or restoring water, sewer and power?

Rick F.
|
New York, USA
January 17, 2010

Rick F. in New York writes:

Haitian-Americans have no faith in the government of haiti. We cringe at the thought of funneling hundreds of millions of dollars of rebuilding funds to this government. Efforts should be made to have a panel of Haitian-Americans oversee all aspects of reconstruction. We simply don't trust the government of haiti to do anything but fight and swindle money. They have totally proved their worth in their shameful disappearance. They can not lead. They should simply wither. Long live Haiti! Long live the USA!

lapin
|
Haiti
January 17, 2010

Lapin in Haiti writes:

hi

i'm Lapin Roosevelt Joseph please help us cause we need water, food, bed. haiti now it's no longer a nice country anymore please help us to be okey

may God bless you

Steve S.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 17, 2010

Steve S. in New Jersey writes:

Like many below, I also would like to go to Haiti personally and help out in any way possible. As there appears to be problems distributing the aid (food, water, etc.) through the affected areas, I am sure I could be of help after 40 years of managing a successful business. Let us know!

Paula M.
|
Wisconsin, USA
January 17, 2010

Paula H. in Wisconsin writes:

Can we do an airlift of children already identified as orphans similar to the Saigon AIrlift of children in the 70's....this was pre-international adoption law. To expedite adoptions we could use families of internationally adopted children who have homestudies and are willing to adopt and expand their loving families. We have 3 internationally adopted children from 3 different countries(Russia, China and Kazakhstan). We currently have an active homestudy because we recently re-adopted all 3 kids in the state of WI to generate birth certificates. We would adopt again from Haiti. I spoke with a friend at church who's husband is in the army and she is a army nurse and is hoping to go to Haiti to provide nursing skills and look at the plight of children and orphans....they want to adopt from Haiti. Haiti is not part of the Hague Treaty and maybe the governments can come up with a solution to expedite adoptions of orphans or care by families that have had recent homestudies.

Paulette W.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
January 17, 2010

Paulette W. in Pennsylvania writes:

Dear Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,

I am writing to voice my concern for the orphans in the Haitian disaster. I fear they will be the last to receive aide, and they already have suffered so much.

I want to raise specific awareness of the orphanage of Foyer de Sion orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti . Moreover, a wonderful family close to me has for over the last three years been trying to adopt children ( Shydlove, Clarry and Kimberly) to join the three children in their family in Pocatello, Idaho.

They have a USCIS 1600 and I71h form for the children.-

Lindsay and her Husband Trevor C. have tenaciously stayed in constant contact with their children who are so far away. Lindsay even began working for the orphanage, traveling to Haiti every three months to see her five children and give aide to the 220 others that the orphanage houses. Sadly, one of their Haitian children has already died during the arduous adoption process.

These children, and many more young ones who are in the convoluted adoption nightmare, belong in the safety of the people who have opened their hearts and homes to adopt them. Please keep the orphanages in mind, and I ask that you expedite the process needed to get the children safely home to America to be with their families. Help bring something good from this tragedy.

Thank you for your time and bless you for your efforts!
Paulette W.
Schwenksville, PA 19473

Dustin B.
|
California, USA
January 17, 2010

Dustin B. in California writes:

I would love to help by just giving more than just money. My wife and I would love to adopt an orphan who lost their family.

E.W.Klingberg
|
Kentucky, USA
January 17, 2010

E.W. in Kentucky writes:

i have over eight years experince in construction and am in the army national guard and in great physical health... i would love too know how too get down there to help with the rescue and rebuild down there... where do we get info on how to get down there and help???

Luke F.
January 17, 2010

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ DipNote readers -- Thank you for your offers of support and interest in providing assistance to Haiti. We are currently receiving a high volume of comments and are responding to messages as soon as possible. If you require assistance in locating a loved one in Haiti, please call 888-407-4747 or email: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov.

Anyone wishing to donate or provide assistance in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, is asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information. You may call the Center at 703-276-1914.

You also can send your message to helphaiti@state.gov. Be certain to include in the subject line "Donation of" followed by the products you are willing to donate. A staffer will share the information with relief and development agencies that have the ability to transport collected items to the affected region and have identified needed goods.

For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. So far, one million plus people have donated over $17 million in the largest mobile donation campaign to date.

Here are more ways you can find information about helping Haiti: Center for International Disaster Information | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red Cross | Text Donation

More about the crisis and how to help: www.state.gov/haitiquake

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