Washington, DC/Port-au-Prince, Haiti -- As the death toll climbs and homeless Haitian refugees round out to an estimated 300,000 in the aftermath of Thursday’s catastrophic earthquake in Haiti’s capital, The American Red Cross rushes to the aid of Haiti’s earthquake victims. PR.com spoke with American Red Cross spokesperson Carrie Housman for details on the unfolding emergency relief efforts currently underway in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
According to American Red Cross spokesperson Carrie Housman, “At this point we’ve got dozens of disaster specialists that are in Haiti, and they’re assessing the damage and trying to address the urgent needs that we are seeing on the ground.”
Housman assures PR.com that this emergency rescue and recovery mission in Haiti is not a short term mission. “We’re establishing a foundation for a long term recovery operation. This isn’t something that is going to be over for us within a few days or a few weeks, or even a few months,” Housman asserts. “We will probably be there and have different long term recovery projects ongoing there for several years.” Housman explains that the amount of American Red Cross emergency personnel in Haiti is changing minute by minute, as many more volunteers are currently en route to Haiti’s earthquake ransacked capital city of Port-au-Prince.
The American Red Cross is placing priority on basic needs and comfort for Haiti’s earthquake victims to stabilize the situation in and around Port-au-Prince before healthcare and medical provisions can be made. “Our focus right now is more along the lines of comfort needs as far as tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets and shelter supplies. Mosquito nets and all of that good stuff are the things that we are sending over to help.” Hausman tells me that medical care will be provided by the American Red Cross shortly, and that resources for providing medical treatment are being put in place by the American Red Cross. “There is a field hospital that is being set up,” states Housman.
The American Red Cross is attempting to address the urgent needs of the young and the elderly who require special care as more resources become available on the ground in Haiti, stating that they are “working to get special items” to those with more dire needs.
The American Red Cross is currently accepting financial donations, with spokesperson Carrie Housman explaining, “That gives us the most flexibility in how we can help people.” Donations can be made online to help victims of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti by logging on to: RedCross.org. Donations can also be made by calling 1-800-Red-Cross. “[Financial donations] give us the flexibility to purchase the supplies that we need, and to then start moving into a longer term recovery operation, setting up those programs that will help Haiti after the urgent needs are taken care of,” explains Housman.
The American Red Cross is currently working on Haiti’s earthquake emergency relief efforts in conjunction with the Federal Government’s State Department. “We work with the Federal Government on an ongoing basis before disasters happen, and while disasters happen to see how we can best support their efforts,” asserts Housman.
For those concerned for loved ones who are currently in Haiti, information can be found at icrc.org/familylinks.