Governor Patrick and his administration have been working with the federal government and our local partners to determine what we can do to assist our vibrant Haitian community during this very tragic time. The federal government is working to identify the specific needs that exist in Haiti right now and cautioned against uncoordinated individual state-led responses.
USAID has been named the lead organization in coordinating disaster relief efforts and the American Red Cross is currently in Haiti doing a needs-assessment. They will be back in touch with us on how we can best assist in the relief efforts.
The federal priorities on the ground right now are currently search and rescue, medical assistance, care for the injured, water, sanitation and shelter. The state has established an emergency operations center at MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) headquarters where state, local and community-based organizations are coordinating efforts. MEMA is giving regular updates about the situation on Twitter (www.twitter.com/MassEMA).
If you have questions or need help:
- Mass211 is available for residents to call with any questions they may have.
- Those trying to reach U.S. residents living or traveling in Haiti can contact the U.S. State Department’s Office of Oversees Citizen Services toll-free at 888-407-4747 (this line is experiencing a high volume of calls at this time, so please be patient).
- The Red Cross has also established a website where people looking to find out about family or friends in Haiti can submit information to personnel on the ground in Haiti at www.icrc.org/familylinks
If you want to help:
- Cash donations are the most efficient and effective way to help the relief effort in Haiti right now. To donate, visit the American Red Cross’ website at www.redcross.org. You can also text “HAITI” to “90999″ and a donation of $10 will be given to the Red Cross relief efforts
- Those looking to donate time or supplies should contact the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at 703-276-1914, or visit them online at www.cidi.org