Survive, Sustain, Reunite

January 14, 2010 13 comments
***In a catastrophic event, focus on 3 things. You may be in shock. Do not be distracted by noise, confusion.

1. Survive: Stay Safe, Treat Wounds. Press this button to find hospitals, and First Aid locations within the affected area.

2. Sustain: Find Water, Food, and Shelter. Water is most important. Press this button to find Shelters and aid locations.

3. Reunite: Find Loved Ones Press this button to search the people finder tool and register yourself on the “safe” lists.

This website contains important information to help those impacted by a catastrophic event find the aid they need. A team of volunteers around the world are constantly updating this information so that you know where to go and whom to call when you begin the road to recovery.

Along the top are pages to help you find hospitals, and treat wounds, and see where shelter and other urgent aid material may be found. The right side of this screen shows additional links for those who would like more detailed information about areas most heavily impacted.

A catastrophic disaster is much different than other types of disasters. In any average disaster, people and property are severely impacted but recovery is relatively fast. Aid agencies are onsite or in contact with impacted persons within a few days. In a catastrophic disaster, hundreds of thousands or millions of people are impacted. The geography impacted may be hundreds of miles in diameter. In such a case, it may be weeks until aid reaches those affected.

The information you see here is easy to find, but the research behind knowing what to tell the public at this time of need and how to display it in any easy to read manner is the result of 11 years of analyzing, responding to, and learning from how the public reacts in times of widespread need in the United States (9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike).

Join the world of Virtual Volunteers! Interested in becoming a Digitial Disaster Volunteer? Sign Up Here

PDNA Post Disaster Needs Assessment Wed March 24, 2010 (Day 71)

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment report was published today and can be found here$File/full_report.pdf

This report was prepared by the Government of the Republic of Haiti, with the support of the international community. The report indicates the huge human impact.

About 1.5 million people, or 15% of the national population, have been directly affected.  More than 220,000 people have lost their lives and more than 300,000 have been injured.  About 1.3 million people are living in temporary shelters in the area of Por-au-Prince.  More than 500,000 people have left the devastated area to find shelter in the rest of the country, resulting in an exacerbation of the already existing problems in access to food and basic services.”

The report states that “In striking at the heart of the Haitian economy and administration, the earthquake has acutely affected human and institutional capabilities in the public and private sectors, including NGO and international technical and financial partners.”

“About 105,000 homes have been completely destroyed and more than 208,000 houses damaged. More than 1,300 educational institutions and more than 50 hospitals and health centers have collapsed or are unusable.”

OCHA Situation Report #23: Monday Feb 22, 2010 (Day41)


  • The Direction for Civil Protection (DCP) estimates that 222,517 people died following the 12 January earthquake, an increase of 5,000 people since the last estimate given a week ago.
  • The most urgent priorities for assistance continue to include shelter and sanitation.
  • There is also a critical need for rubble removal as well as for the identification of suitable land for the construction of transitional shelter. This is a major challenge for the decongestion of overcrowded sites.
  • The Ministry of Education has indicated that children in affected areas should resume school by early April.
  • The number of people who have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments has increased to 597,801 people from the previous figure of 511,405. An estimated 160,000 persons have come from Port-au-Prince to the border area with the Dominican Republic.

FEMA: National Situation Update: Tues Feb 2, 2010 (Day21)

Response and Recovery in Haiti (7.0 Earthquake) U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is the lead U.S. Government (USG) office responsible for providing humanitarian assistance in response to international emergencies and disasters.

In support of the U.S. Department of State/Agency for International Development (USAID), the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been partnering with US DOD/USTRANSCOM to transport commodities to support Haiti, including more than 1.42 million meals.

Commodities that have been delivered to Rio Haina, Dominican Republic, and Port Au Prince, Haiti, to date, include roughly:

  • 1.42 million meal
  • 24,365 blankets
  • 767,164 liters of water
  • 94,709 comfort kits
  • 7,645 cots
  • 52,606 tarps
  • 463 rolls of plastic sheeting

JANUARY 21 (Year 0, Day 9)  

According to Fact sheet 9 of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART), an estimated 500,000 people in Haiti have received assistance to date, including food assistance, water, and hygiene kits. Of the total, the USAID/DART reports that WFP has distributed assistance to 200,000 individuals, providing 3 million meals. At present, the GoH has highlighted the provision of family tents and assistance to areas outside Port-au-Prince as priorities for humanitarian efforts. The need however for providing aid is so much greater as shown below.

Jan21 OCHA Reports Haiti Earthquake Impacts to date
75,000 killed (GoH)
200,000 injured (GoH)
1,000,000 displaced (GoH)
2,000,000 in need of food assistance
3,000,000 affected


A 6.1 Aftershock struck near Jacmel at 6am this morning.  Twitter is having capacity issues today.  Bookmark this site so you can find it again later.  Search reported emergencies in #Haiti and add new incidents on be specific and detailed in your reports. Send email to for other urgent needs during Twitter outages.

The Haiti Government has now devised eight zones for the distribution of humanitarian assistance. Each zone will receive direct support by a national minister to coordinate the relief effort. These include: 1) Petionville and Kenscoff; 2) Carrefour; 3) Gressier; 4) Petit Goave, Grand Goave and Leogane; 4) Tabarre; 5) Cabaret and Croix de Bouquets; 6) Delmar; 7) Jacmel; Port au Prince Municipality.


#1  Survive – get to a safe place. Treat wounds.

#2 Find Water, Food, Shelter – Water is most important.

#3 Find Loved Ones

When a catastrophic event occurs like the earthquake in Haiti, you may be without the help of others for a long time – days or even weeks.  Keep your focus on the top 3 priorities.   Click on the links in this blog to find where help is being offered across Haiti.

Photo credit: Christopher L Mitchell