To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you. We know that you are a strong and resilient people. You have endured a history of slavery and struggle, of natural disaster and recovery. And through it all, your spirit has been unbroken and your faith has been unwavering. So today, you must know that help is arriving — much, much more help is on the way.
- President Barack Obama, 1/14/10
Haiti Earthquaqe Resources
The thoughts and prayers of the entire Congress are with the people of Haiti. The United States and Members of Congress remain committed to helping the Haitian people recover from this latest disaster and rebuild their homes, communities, and lives in the days and weeks to come. The Obama Administration has launched a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives and support the recovery in Haiti, including an immediate investment of $100 million to support the relief efforts for life-saving equipment, food, water and medicine that will be needed.
Looking For Relatives
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 some callers may receive a recording. To better handle these requests, the State Department has established an e-mail address as well: [email protected].
A top priority of the State Department is accounting for the thousands of American citizens who are currently in Haiti. US citizens in Haiti have been urged to contact the Embassy via email at [email protected] to request assistance or call the Embassy’s Consular Task Force at 509-2229-8942, 509-2229-8089, 509-2229-8322, or 509-2229-8672.
The Red Cross has also set up a Family Links website managed by the ICRC, in cooperation with the tracing services of the Haitian Red Cross Society and of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies throughout the world, to assist in the process of restoring contact between separated family members:
Assistance for Haiti Relief Efforts
The State Department has established a dedicated web page that offers advice for anyone wishing to provide assistance to those affected by the earthquake:
The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) provides information and guidance in support of appropriate international disaster relief:
Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert
The FBI has issued a fraud alert, reminding Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause. Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:
- Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
- Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
- Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
- Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
- Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.