AboutLinda Butz is a registered nurse who works at Gulf Coast Medical Center and is a member of the Florida One Disaster Medical Assistance Team. The DMAT team is under the Department of Health and Human Services, and received orders on Tuesday to report for deployment to Haiti. She is blogging her experience while working on the relief efforts in Haiti.
• Headed Out
How to Help the Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort, Avoid Scams
What Are Some Major Groups That Have Already Been Vetted?
The granddaddy of them all is the American Red Cross.
This age-old organization is even going modern. You can text the word "HAITI" to 90999 to make an instant $10 donation.
World Vision is already distributing first aid kits and other staples in Haiti.
Save the Children is focusing on children and families and taking truly grass roots actions like sending out motorbike teams to help people in the capital.
Care USA is distributing stocks of high-protein biscuits that it already had in warehouses in Haiti.
Click here to see other good groups working to help with Haiti.
To find out if a charity meets the Better Business Bureau's standards, visit www.bbb.org.
What About Volunteering?
There are opportunities for volunteering, but on a limited basis.
Relief groups are only interested in people with previous disaster relief experience and technical expertise.
For example, doctors and nurses and people with knowledge of telephone service, water, sanitation and engineering.
If you would like to volunteer, you should register with the Center for International Disaster Information.
I traveled to Fort Walton Beach Tuesday night and then to Atlanta Wednesday morning early to await government orders and transport to Haiti. The commander of our group left on Wednesday, but the plane had a near mid-air collision and was diverted to a different location, and with it our supplies, so that delayed our departure.
Our team is made up of 34 people, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants and logistics persons. We are joining another team just like ours as well as a team of 50 surgeons that are all heading down at the same time.
We’re boarding our plane in Atlanta (today) on a direct flight to Haiti and have been told that we are the first group of American surgeons and nurses to head down.”
LPN, Gulf Coast Medical Center
Haiti Earthquake Support