Monthly Archives: January 2010

What Does Your $ Do?


What could my gift actually buy?

  • $5 provides a water container to store clean drinking water
  • $10 provides a blanket that is appropriate to the climate and culture of the disaster-affected area
  • $25 provides a family of 5 with a kitchen set giving them the ability to cook and serve food (a disaster can destroy even the most basic family possessions and restoring family’s self-sufficiency is essential). This includes two cooking pots, a frying pan, bowls, plates, cups, and utensils.
  • $30 provides essential hygiene materials to 5 people for one month (ensuring adequate hygiene after a disaster is essential in promoting the health of those affected). This includes items like a toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, body soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, sanitary pads, a razor and a towel.
  • $60 provides tarps, rope, wood and tools for a family of five to build a temporary shelter. (2 tarps, rope, hoe, machete, tin snips, handsaw, roofing nails, shovel, long nails, tie wire, claw hammer)
  • $100 provides a cooking set, hygiene pack, blankets, and water containers for one family of five following a disaster.
  • $500 provides a family tent for a family of 5

Update on Red Cross Activities in Haiti

  • The American Red Cross Relief ERU in Port-au-Prince is now receiving and coordinating the distribution of relief supplies as they arrive in Haiti via plane in Port-au-Prince and through a land bridge from Santo Domingo.
  • The American Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Red Cross partners continue to work with the Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS) to distribute available supplies.
  • Supplies for a 50-bed Red Cross field hospital arrived in Port-au-Prince yesterday and the hospital is currently being set up. Plans for expansion of Red Cross medical services are underway, including the deployment of a referral hospital.
  • The multi-national Red Cross Field Assessment Coordination Team (FACT) continues to conduct damage assessments and coordinate the global Red Cross response.
  • To date, 15 Emergency Response Units (ERUs) have been mobilized to provide a range of support, including the mobilization on January 16 of a massive sanitation module and a second base camp to support the needs of relief workers on the ground.
  • On January 18, American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern is scheduled to travel to Port-au-Prince with the President and Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation).



The aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake has posed logistical challenges for all humanitarian organizations, including Red Cross responders, who are working around the clock to meet the challenges and ensure aid reaches the survivors.

The difficulties include damaged transportation and power systems; an unreliable airport tower, which had led to many flights being diverted; and damaged cranes at the capital city’s port, which is not expected to reopen until January 18. Some roads are also covered with debris, making travel within the capital city difficult.

Despite these challenges, the American Red Cross has dozens of disaster specialists in Haiti, assessing the damage, addressing urgent needs and establishing the foundation for a long-term recovery operation. These individuals joined the 15-person staff who were already in country, and 12 Red Cross teams from other countries who arrived on Thursday. Among these teams are engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists. These teams will establish field hospitals, restore water and sanitation systems, distribute supplies and restore family links facilities.

Two planes carrying Red Cross humanitarian assistance are due to land Friday afternoon in Port-au-Prince. The first carries a field hospital, and the second carries tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets, shelter supplies and kitchen sets.

The American Red Cross is also working today with airport authorities to transport additional items from its warehouse in Panama into Port-au-Prince.

An Outpouring of Support
The American Red Cross and other relief organizations have seen an incredible outpouring of support in response to the Haiti earthquake.

So far, the American Red Cross has received $37 million in donations, breaking records for pledges to the Red Cross made within the same time period after a disaster. More than half of the donations have been through online contributions, with strong support from corporations and record-setting activity in mobile giving.

First Lady Michelle Obama also released a Public Service Announcement asking people to join her in supporting the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti:

“The images from Haiti are heart-breaking—homes, hospitals and schools destroyed; families searching for loved ones; parents trying to feed their children. But we can all do something. We can help the American Red Cross as it delivers the food, water and medicine that can save lives. Donate $10 by texting “HAITI” to 9-0-9-9-9. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Thanks for your help.”

How to Help
While the American Red Cross appreciates heartfelt offers to travel to Haiti or to donate household items, at this time, what the Red Cross needs the most are financial contributions – whether by check, online or by phone.

You can make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donors can designate their gifts to Haiti relief. You can also donate $10 to Haiti relief by texting “HAITI” to 90999.

Haiti Earthquake


The American Red Cross is sending money, supplies and staff to Haiti to support relief efforts there after yesterday’s earthquake, which caused catastrophic damage and loss of life.

According to reports, as many as three million people may have been affected by the quake, which collapsed government buildings and caused major damage to hospitals in the area.

The Red Cross is contributing an initial $1 million from the International Response Fund to support the relief operation, and has opened its warehouse in Panama to provide tarps, mosquito nets and cooking sets for approximately 5,000 families.

In addition to Red Cross staff already in Haiti, six disaster management specialists are being deployed to the disaster zone to help coordinate relief efforts. At this time, the American Red Cross is only deploying volunteers specially trained to manage international emergency operations.

There has been an outpouring of support from the public. To help, people can make an unrestricted donation to the International Response Fund at or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). The public can also help by texting “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross, through an effort backed by the U.S. State Department. Funds will go to support American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

Debris and collapsed bridges are making access to many areas extremely difficult. Telephone service and electricity are out in many places. Haitian Red Cross staff worked throughout the night to rescue people still trapped in their homes and provide first aid. The priority remains to provide food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.

The American Red Cross already had fifteen staff in Haiti providing ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention and disaster preparedness programs. All are reported to be safe and responding to the disaster.