The American Red Cross has committed an initial $1 million from its International Response Fund to support the relief operation following Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti. The Red Cross is also releasing disaster relief supplies from its warehouse in Panama, which will be able to meet the immediate needs of 5,000 families.
To help coordinate relief efforts, six Red Cross disaster management specialists have been deployed and others are on standby to join the staff already on the ground. At this time, the Red Cross is only deploying volunteers who have been trained in managing international emergency operations.
People who would like to help those affected by the earthquake can make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at Redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. The Red Cross is also receiving money through a third party mobile fundraising effort sponsored by Mobile Accord. Mobile donors can text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a ten dollar donation to the Red Cross to be used for relief efforts in Haiti. The Red Cross cannot accept donations of goods and clothing, as there is nowhere to store them and it would be difficult to transport the items to Haiti.
If you are 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. The International Committee of the Red Cross has also established a family linking web site, www.icrc.org/familylinks, enabling people in Haiti and abroad to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake.