I have written a couple of times about the Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort. The option offered below for businesses is unique in the sense that it involves a technology product that the Houston Urban Area is utilizing to help our area prepare for the next disaster. Recently, our region purchased a technology called “i-INFO” to help us manage resources during a catastrophe.
i-INFO Networks in other parts of the United States have formed a network to assist those in Haiti— in a manner that is appropriate to the need. The World Cares Center in New York City, a member of the National Business Reponse Network, is deploying a team to Haiti to setup a resource and volunteer coordination center to assist int he relief and recovery effort. The National Business Response Network is working with US Northern Command in this relief effort. The team should be established this week, and once set up, with the help of other Business Response Network members providing satellite phones and other key equipment, the team will be in a position to communicate directly from the center in Haiti.
It is important that the donations from citizens and businesses fit the needs of the victims— it would be counterproductive to send items that are of no use to those suffering. The Center will provide a mechanism for knowing exactly what is needed. So, today, I have two suggestions for those citizens and businesses that want to contribute to the relief effort:
Citizens are urged to donate money to relief organizations. This ensure that the most appropriate type of aid gets to the victims as quickly as possible. Donating to the American Red Cross, is a simple way for citizens to donate and to make sure that the money is being put to good use. The Fort Bend County OEM coordinates with the Red Cross locally during disasters which affect Fort Bend County, and you can donate to the Red Cross to send more relief to Haiti.
Businesses are also urged to donate to the Red Cross, but can also offer supplies to be sent directly to Haiti. A registry is available at http://registry.i-info.com/haiti and is intended to collect in-kind resources from any organization that is willing to donate these critically needed items. If you don’t have anything to donate on the list, you can register for updates to the registry.