In the 48 hours since the earthquake struck in Haiti, the American Red Cross has received nearly $37 million in donations, and we are thankful for this unprecedented outpouring of support. So far, the American Red Cross has provided the following operational support:
-The Red Cross provided blood and blood products to the US Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. That blood, requested by the US Navy, was shipped by the US Navy to their facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of medical evacuees from Haiti.
-A handful of disaster responders from the American Red Cross have arrived in Port-au-Prince and are coordinating with local and international partners to overcome the logistical challenges and bring aid into the country.
-These individuals join the 15-person staff we already had on the ground and more than six Red Cross teams that arrived from other countries yesterday. Among them are engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists.
-The International Committee of the Red Cross is also helping to reconnect separated families within the country. They have established a special Web site, enabling persons in Haiti and abroad to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake: www.icrc.org/familylinks. Within 24 hours of its launch, more than 6,000 visited the site looking for loved ones.
-The 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.
-The American Red Cross is ready to deploy relief supplies, including blankets, tarps, cooking sets and hygiene items, from our warehouse in Panama as soon as ports begin accepting relief shipments and commercial flights.