SAN DIEGO, January 13, 2010 — On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused widespread damage on the island of Haiti, especially in the capital city of Port au Prince. Aftershocks continue to shake the island. As with most earthquakes, we expect to see an immediate need for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.
The American Red Cross has pledged an initial $1,000,000 to assist affected communities and is prepared to take further action as local responders assess the situation. The American Red Cross has sent an initial shipment of relief supplies from its warehouse in Panama, which includes kitchen supplies, mosquito nets, tarps and other materials to help those who have been made homeless. A disaster management specialist has also been deployed to support Haitian Red Cross relief efforts.
At this time, the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross has not been asked to provide any personnel or equipment in response to the disaster. It will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any and all requests for assistance from National Headquarters.
The American Red Cross has an extensive partnership with the Haitian Red Cross and employs several staff members in Haiti who provide ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention and disaster preparedness education. The Haitian Red Cross was founded in 1931 and specializes in emergency response, community health services, blood transfusions, ambulance services and first aid training.
The American Red Cross is accepting monetary donations to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Donors may send checks to the local chapter, designating Haiti Relief to: American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, 3950 Calle Fortunada, San Diego, CA 92123, by visiting the website at www.sdarc.org, or by calling 858-309-1200. Donors may also text “HAITI” to 90999 and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts; the charge will appear on the next cell phone bill.
Please consider helping victims of countless cities around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund (IRF), which will provide immediate and long-term support to those in need. Donors can make gifts by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by visiting www.redcross.org.
At this time, the Red Cross is utilizing trained volunteers and is not accepting spontaneous volunteers to travel to Haiti. If you would like to volunteer for the American Red Cross, please contact the local chapter at 858-309-1200.
For inquiries about relatives living and who have citizenship in Haiti, please be patient and call repeatedly until the lines clear or contact other family members who live nearby. Telephone, Internet and other communication lines are often disrupted in times of disaster. People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Haiti should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.
About the American Red Cross, San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter
The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross is leading the effort to make San Diego and Imperial ValleyCounties “America’s Most Prepared Community.” As a charitable organization and not a government agency, the Red Cross depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The local chapter also provides nutritional counseling through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For more information, please call (858) 309-1200 or visit www.sdarc.org.
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