Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888-407-4747
[Information] This is going to be a building post… I wanted to get something started about relief and information regarding the tragic earthquake in Haiti. I don't want this to be simply a document of the tragedy there will be plenty of those posts, news stories, editorials, and more. I'd like it to build as a line of support for anyone who might find it. My plan is to have a few RSS feeds in the post if possible as well as contact information for relief organizers… more to come. If you have links or other information, please post them in the comments and I will incorporate them into the post in future updates.
[Disclaimer] Like many, I currently feel that I want to help in any way I can. I also feel impotent in actually being able to find any way to effect that support. I know that there will be many schools, churches, groups, and individuals that will begin organizing and mobilizing their students, parishes, members, co-workers, teams and themselves to begin collecting food, clothing, and the other basic necessities of life to somehow ship these items to Haiti to provide any relief they can… I want to let you know right now that I will NOT be one of you…
Now before you curse me out, drop my feed, post irrational negativity or profanity please let me present my viewpoint. As I mentioned, I want to help in any way that I can, however, I do not believe with the extreme devastation that we are coming to understand has occurred in Haiti that small group "care packages" can or will get into any Haitian hands. There is just no feasible vehicle to effect that possibility. While it may make those of you who wish to participate in this manner "feel" like you are doing something or make you "feel" better that you helped, I sincerely believe that all of those efforts are going to sit and spoil on a dock on the US coast or in a warehouse somewhere, or be stolen/looted eventually for someone else's gain not the actual Haitians in need.
So, what am I going to do and recommend others do? Provide donations (preferably monetary) to the large international relief organizations like the Red Cross. InterAction is an NGO that has put together a list here that lists the major organizations who have the proper trained personnel and organization to get relief to the Haitian people. (Even then I recommend going with well known BIG organizations) or with the US Government assistance lines.
How Can You Help:
Contribute online to the Red Cross, by choosing the International Relief Fund. You can also donate easily by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill each time you text that message.
CNN and the BBC are providing some of the most complete coverage. Here are direct links to their sites:
Also the Wikipedia article for the 2010 Haiti Earthquake is rapidly being updated.
"The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake centred approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, which struck at 16:53:09 or 04:53:09 PM local time (21:53:09 UTC) on Tuesday 12 January 2010. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi). The United States Geological Surveyrecorded a series of aftershocks, fourteen of them between magnitudes 5.0 and 5.9. The International Red Cross has stated that as many as 3 million people have been affected by the quake, with as many as 500,000 deaths according to the prime minister. (Current estimate, may get higher or lower over time)"
Here is a link to the USGS information on the Haiti 7.0 Magnitude earthquake. From the USGS site, here is the "Shake Map" which indicates the violence experienced at the surface of the earth.