By Caitlin Cobb, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
February 2, 2010
Immediately following the catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday January 12, the American Red Cross and Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world launched into action to send support to the victims of this disaster. The operation in Haiti is already the largest single-country relief operation in global Red Cross history in terms of emergency relief teams deployed.
As of January 29, more than 56 flights carrying Red Cross aid from around the world have arrived in Haiti. These shipments have included essential items, including food, medical supplies, water purification systems, hygiene kits and supplies for temporary shelter.
The American Red Cross is in Haiti as a part of the broader coordinated Red Cross and Red Crescent response network. More than 500 Red Cross and Red Crescent workers from at least 22 countries are in Haiti supporting thousands of local volunteers for the relief effort. Each Red Cross society team has its own roles and expertise, and by working together, we are a very powerful team for relief and recovery. Several societies are focusing on medical care, first aid and emotional support.
During this phase of the relief operation, the American Red Cross is focusing on three areas – food, clean drinking water and other relief items such as hygiene kits, blankets, tarps, sleeping mats, tents and water containers.
In the Bay Area, Red Cross volunteers supported the great outpouring of support from community residents.
What took minute to destroy will take years to rebuild. The reconstruction and long term relief of the island nation of Haiti will take the collective support from government and relief agencies around the world.
The American Red Cross will continue to accept donations to help fund the long term relief efforts in Haiti. The Red Cross would like to thank all donors and volunteers for their continued support and generosity.