From the Office of the White House Press Secretary:
For those of you who were able, our thanks for joining today’s call on our Haiti response. This email provides the information we discussed for your use and to share widely. Here is a summary of informational tools and resources for the coming days as it relates to the situation in Haiti.
In these first critical hours, we are focusing on saving lives and supporting recovery, but we know that several of you are pooling resources and supplies in your own communities.
For the most up to date information throughout the coming days please continue to monitor http://www.whitehouse.gov/HaitiEarthquake
A top priority is accounting for the thousands of American citizens who are currently in Haiti. Families of Americans living in Haiti who are trying to find the status of their loved ones are encouraged to contact the State Department at 1-888-407-4747. This line is experiencing a high volume of calls at this time, so we ask for your continued patience.
Cash donations are the most efficient and effective way to help the relief effort in Haiti right now. They allow humanitarian organizations to purchase (often within the affected region itself) the exact type and quantity of items needed by those affected by the crisis. Read about the advantages of monetary donations here. You can immediately donate to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting “HAITI” to “90999.” You can also find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information, or through USAID’s interactive website, which has a list of NGOs and instructions on how to help: http://www.usaid.gov.
Right now, the airport is being used to facilitate search and rescue efforts. This is a complex and difficult environment, and all of our efforts have to be focused on prioritizing and moving the right resources into Haiti that can save lives in the next 48 hours. That is why we are encouraging private citizens to focus their efforts on supporting established aid organizations that are deploying resources to Haiti, and to hold off on traveling there themselves.
We ask that you keep track of offers of in kind services and supplies being offered in your communities in the coming days so that as needs on the ground are assessed we can quickly turn around the resources and get them to Haiti. Those looking to donate time, supplies or funds should contact the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at 703-276-1914, or visit them online at http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/
We will have continued outreach calls on this issue as we continue to learn more about the situation on the ground and resources needed in the coming days.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 13, 2010