Haiti Earthquake Relief
Sailors load pallets of humanitarian supplies aboard the USS Carter Hall at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The ship is transporting U.S. Marines and supplies to support Operation Unified Response, a multinational humanitarian and disaster relief operation following the earthquake in Haiti Jan 12.
GSA Employees Work Around the Clock to Assist Haiti Recovery Efforts
As Haiti continues to recover from a devastating earthquake and its aftermath, GSA has been working behind the scenes to assist U.S. efforts to bring relief and help to the people there.
During the first two weeks following the initial temblor, GSA’s National Contact Center responded to nearly 45,000 calls from people looking for information and to give support to the Haitian recovery efforts.
The contact center, part of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services, answers calls on behalf of the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Citizen Services. A typical day will see about 500 calls on subjects such as an after-hours number for an emergency involving an American, death of an American citizen abroad, and Americans missing abroad. The National Contact Center telephone number – 1 (888) 407-4747 – is promoted in variety of ways, including the State Department website. In emergency times such as the Haiti earthquake, the center responds around the clock.
In that same time frame, GSA’s Supply Operations filled more than 240 requisitions worth nearly $1 million to federal agency customers supporting disaster relief in Haiti. The Department of Defense placed most of the orders, looking for everything from toothpaste and water jugs to memorandum books and safety helmets. Blankets, towels, sheets, pillows, pillowcases, and gloves were also ordered.
GSA’s has also arranged shipping for supply and equipment that disaster relief personnel will use, including generators, electronic equipment, tents, vehicles, cots, and blankets.
Employees have been busy helping find resources for other items requested. These include such things as finding sources for meals ready to eat for military activities supporting relief efforts and assisting the Red Cross with emergency lodging reservations in Florida for volunteers working on the Haiti effort.
GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center provided operations and maintenance, communications, and field operation support to the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The FEDSIM response management team deployed three communications officers, who provided field-based communication support. These first responders arrived in Haiti alongside military personnel and helped establish communications coverage to support relief efforts.
National Contact Center staff assists thousands of callers in support of Haitian earthquake recovery efforts .