An Earthquake Rocks Haiti Cultural Studies Essay

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A 7.0 earthquake struck the country of Haiti, leveling buildings, cutting off communications and leaving the world wondering about the state of this poor country. Witnesses said buildings were destroyed and many people injured. The lack of communications is hindering the ability to determine the full extent of damage and destruction.

Convoy of Hope is responding. You can help by making a secure online donation.

Convoy of Hope is establishing an emergency command center just outside the city of Port-au-Prince where food, water and supplies will be distributed to victims of the earthquake that rocked Haiti on Tuesday.

"Our Haiti country director is on the ground and we are working closely with our partners to check on the children we feed and also to assist victims with immediate needs," says Hal Donaldson, founder and president of Convoy of Hope. "We have a warehouse in Haiti and have food and supplies immediately available to those in need. In the next few days several more containers filled with relief supplies will be prepared and shipped immediately to Haiti."

Initial reports indicate that many buildings, homes and walls toppled under the strain of the earthquake. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Many of its nearly 10 million residents live in abject poverty.

For several years Convoy of Hope has worked in Haiti and currently feeds 11,000 children there each day.

You can help by making a secure online donation today. Your online gift will go to immediately help the victims of this massive earthquake.

Thank you for your love and concern for the children and victims of this devastating earthquake.

Meeting needs in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Untold numbers of people have died. Tens of thousands have been injured or left homeless. Tuesday's 7.0 earthquake in Haiti decimated the country.

"I heard screams for help from everywhere," said Kevin Rose, Convoy of Hope's country director for Haiti, describing the hours after the earthquake hit. "I am seeing many dead and injured people. The need is beyond description."

On Tuesday night dozens of injured people made it to the medical clinic at the mission where Convoy of Hope has its warehouse. By morning four of those injured were dead.

As the world looks on and aid teams are deployed to the island nation, Convoy of Hope is already setting up an emergency command center just outside Port-au-Prince where food, water and supplies are being distributed to victims of the earthquake.

"This is a major disaster that will affect the lives of countless families for years to come," says Hal Donaldson, founder and president of Convoy of Hope. "Thankfully, our warehouse in Haiti was full so we could begin responding immediately. More containers are being staged for shipment and filled with more food, water and supplies in our world distribution center in Springfield, Mo."

According to Rose, besides food and water there is an urgent need for tarps, tents, medical supplies and medicine too.

"Timing is critical," says Greg Venturella, senior director international operations for Convoy of Hope. "Food, medical supplies and water are scarce."

Tomorrow, Venturella and Kary Kingsland, vice president disaster response, will lead teams into the region. Venturella will pick up medical supplies from a partner organization in the Dominican Republic then continue on into Haiti where the relief supplies will be distributed at Convoy of Hope's distribution point.

Because of the extent of damage and estimated loss of life, Convoy of Hope has already committed to long-term relief efforts in Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Many of its nearly 10 million residents live in abject poverty.

Already, Convoy of Hope feeds more than 11,000 Haitian children each day.

"We need the help of our friends and supporters to meet short and the long-term needs in Haiti," says Donaldson. "Convoy of Hope is committed to helping hurting families rebuild their lives."

Bringing hope to Haiti

Thursday morning seven members of the Convoy of Hope team began their journey to the devastated island-nation, Haiti. They plan to arrive in Port-au-Prince Friday morning and immediately begin an assessment of the destruction there.

Awaiting them on-ground is Kevin Rose, Convoy of Hope's Country Director for Haiti. Rose was in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake took place and describes the current situation as, "simply overwhelming. It stretches your mind in a hundred different directions."

Rose is now awaiting the arrival of his team members. Once together they will evaluate the situation and strategically plan to meet the needs of Haitian people as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Gary Higgins, member of the International Team at Convoy of Hope and an experienced former paramedic, is part of that team. He stated, "Our first hope is to meet the three most basic needs for as many people as we can; water, food and shelter. Because the temperature levels in Haiti range between eight-five and ninety degrees Fahrenheit, our priority has to be water. In those kinds of temperatures people can only live 2-5 days without it."

Due to the innumerable amount of people injured, Gary and another medical team member have plans to set up a mobile triage clinic. They also hope to assist at an established clinic located at the Mission of Hope, an organization with which Convoy of Hope has established a deep-rooted partnership. This clinic is still desperate for experienced staff, medicine and other medical supplies.

Though there is seemingly an insurmountable amount of death and destruction, optimism still reigns. Rose related a story that brings hope and shows that the Haitian people are not giving up.

"Last night I was laying in bed, trying to process all that had had happened in that first full day since the earthquake. As I was lying there, I could hear the voices of people in the streets. I expected to hear cries of desperation and angst; instead I heard the singing of hymns and lifting prayers."

Relief effort in full swing

In the wake of Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, Convoy of Hope relief teams are on the ground in Port-au-Prince distributing food, water, medicine and more. Water purification units are also being implemented.

When the earthquake hit, Convoy's country director was in Port-au-Prince. And because Convoy's warehouse was fully stocked, the team was able to begin responding immediately with 50,000 meals.

One load of relief supplies is being airlifted shortly and another truckload of food and medicine just arrived from the Dominican Republic. Additional loads are being readied for immediate shipment and distribution at several points of distribution in Port-au-Prince.

More supplies are critically needed.

Security personnel have been retained to protect the relief workers. Volunteer teams are being asked to register at goteams@convoyofhope.org. However, until Convoy of Hope can ensure their safety, volunteers will not be deployed.

"The best way to assist the people of Haiti right now," says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope, is by making a cash gift. "This is a major disaster that requires a major response. We're encouraging people to join with their family and friends and make a sacrificial gift so more people can receive help. Our pledge is to stretch every dollar to minister to as many suffering people as possible."

Making Sense of Chaos

The following is the first of daily reports that will be sent from our Haiti field reporter Kirk Noonan.

Because of safety and logistical challenges, Kevin Rose, country director to Haiti for Convoy of Hope, has spent considerable time assessing Port-au-Prince looking for places in the city where Convoy of Hope can set up long-term distribution points and medical clinics.

"There's a balance we're looking for" says Mike Clark a member of Convoy's relief team in Haiti, "because the situation here is so chaotic we look for places that are both safe for our workers but also easily accessible to the people. The goal is to find points where we can serve people for a few weeks and even months" adds Clark "that should calm people down who are desperate for food, water and medical aid."

Doing so has not been an easy task. As of Friday afternoon when Convoy of Hope's first assessment team arrived in Port-au-Prince power had not been restored in the city and is expected to be out for weeks. Officials are also working to secure the city. "Food is so insecure and will continue to be," says Kevin Rose. "People have to eat, if they don't start seeing help soon it is going to create huge problems."

Today Convoy of Hope will have a distribution site and clinic up and running in the middle of the city in one of the worst hit areas. "We are excited to have one of the first teams here on the ground." Says Rose "and we are hopeful for the coming days but much more help, food, water and medical supplies are needed."

A Little Girl's Story

The following is the second of many field reports that will be sent from our Haiti field reporter Kirk Noonan

Gamaelle, 10, wears a crisp, white dress. She is a pretty girl even with swollen, bloodshot eyes. A soiled dressing covers her head. A makeshift splint runs up and down her left leg. She is missing teeth. Bruises, scrapes, gashes and bumps cover most of her body.

The injuries happened after the earthquake.

Today, under a tree in a courtyard at a church a team of health professionals from Mission of Hope, a Convoy of Hope partner, will try to set her leg, which has breaks in the tibia and fibula.

As the team prepares the leg to be set Gamaelle screams and moans in pain.

"Don't touch my leg there," she cries. "God you forgot me!"

When the earthquake struck, Gamaelle was in her house. She had just finished doing her homework and had sat down to rest after a long day of school. When the earthquake hit, her home started to crumble. She ran out of the house seemingly to safety.

"She made it outside, but the house next to ours fell on her," says Pere Gary, her father. "She was buried under the rubble for more than an hour, but we knew she was alive because she kept saying, 'I'm here, I'm alive.' "

As the medical team attends to Gamaelle she pleads with them over and over. Even with pain medication she screams, "No, no, no, no!"

Her father hovers over her assuring everything is going to be okay. But it is no use. She is too afraid, too scared and in too much pain.

"We're going to try to set the leg," says Gary Higgins, international project director for Convoy of Hope and a trained paramedic, who was one of the team members assisting Gamaelle. "But even if we can set the leg, she will still need surgery."

The future is bleak for Gamaelle and her family.

Pere Gary and his wife have eight children in all. Food and water are scarce. Though their house was not flattened like so many others, he says, it was completely destroyed.

Tonight, like they have done since the earthquake struck, the family will sleep on the streets.

No place for a little girl with a broken leg.

Food, a prized possession

The following is the third of many field reports that will be sent from our Haiti field reporter Kirk Noonan.

Taking great strides to ensure that food is distributed in a way that keeps workers and earthquake victims safe the Convoy of Hope team distributed food on Saturday afternoon.

"We're sending them through in groups of 10," says Nick Wiersma, director of volunteer services for Convoy of Hope. "They'll enter one gate on the property and exit another."

Each person who comes through the gate receives two packs of Feed My Starving Children fortified rice and soy protein meal package, which contains six meals per packet.

Help Convoy of Hope send more meals to Haiti.

"These people are appreciative because they know they are going to get some food," says Kevin Rose, Haiti director for Convoy of Hope. "This food is important because the food supply into the country has been cut off and things with regards to the food supply will get worse before it gets better."

As the victims of the earthquake exit the grounds of Quisqueya Chapel in Port-au-Prince many smile. Some-mostly children-hold the bags high as if they are prized trophies and jog down the rutted dirt road that runs alongside the front side of the church's property.

"God gave me this food," says Doula, a 33-year-old mother of four. "I have faith now that He will give me even more in the coming days."

Tomorrow the Convoy of Hope team will distribute more food here.

"We will keep ramping up and distributing more food," says Rose. "The need will not go away today or tomorrow ... that's why we'll be here for the coming weeks."

Water Shortage

The following is the fourth of many field reports that will be sent from our Haiti field reporter Kirk Noonan.

Water is scarce in Port-au-Prince. So much so, that if relief groups advertised they had clean water to distribute they would, according to officials here, be overrun. So, one Convoy of Hope team worked behind the scenes on Saturday to provide clean water for the residents of Port-au-Prince by installing two Sawyer water filters at an orphanage in the capital city.

"Since the earthquake struck the orphanage has had to ration water for the children," says Gary Higgins, director of international projects for Convoy of Hope. "The children were surviving on only a half a cup of water per day, which obviously is not nearly enough for the hot and humid conditions in Haiti."

On Saturday morning, Higgins built and installed two filters using technologies Convoy of Hope has come to rely on in its efforts to provide clean drinking water in impoverished countries.

"Now, these children will have access to clean drinking water every day," says Higgins.

The filters will each produce 1.2 liters of clean water each minute. Clean water will help stop the spread of diseases, which officials here say will run rampant in the coming days as residents settle for unclean water.

According to a UN development report-for every dollar spent on providing clean drinking water in places like Haiti there is an economic return of $8 worth of productivity from those who have access to the water.

"In other words," adds Higgins, "it improves people's lives and provides opportunity for them."

Chris Nungester, director of the orphanage, is just happy her children will have access to clean, drinking water. "This is going to be life changing for our orphanage," she says.

Haitians Desperate for Food

The following is the fifth of many field reports that will be sent from our Haiti field reporter Kirk Noonan.

Hundreds of desperate Haitians are in line waiting for food at Quisqueya Chapel-Convoy of Hope's main distribution point in Port-au-Prince. By Saturday (January 16), the Convoy of Hope team had distributed 100,000 meals here and at five other distribution points.

"Having partners like Haiti 1, the national Assemblies of God church and Mission of Hope has allowed us access to parts of the city we could have never gotten into," says Paul Coroleuski, Convoy of Hope's director of field services who is in Haiti. "Without our partners we would be like many other relief organizations who have food and supplies in country but are facing enormous logistical and security problems getting those items distributed."

Food supplies are running low in Haiti and show no signs of improving anytime soon. But even when food is available-as it is in limited amounts on some street corners from vendors-many families simply do not have the cash to pay for it.

"My house is damaged, I need food, but I have no money to buy it," says Ralph, a twenty-something-year-old who could be speaking for tens of thousands of hungry Haitians.

"The situation regarding food and water remains dire," says Kevin Rose, Haiti director for Convoy of Hope. "The lack of fuel and security issues has made it very difficult to move food around the city. But through our network of partners we are getting food into some of the most desperate places."

Rose says the food being distributed to earthquake victims is inventory from Convoy of Hope's warehouse that is used to feed 11,000 children each day who are a part of Convoy of Hope's feeding initiative in Haiti.

"That supply will last 10 to 14 more days," admits Rose. "So, we need to replenish the warehouse as fast as we can to ensure that we can keep feeding the children in our program while also continuing to provide food for those who are suffering from the earthquake."

By Friday, January 22, Convoy of Hope had distributed more than 300,000 meals in Haiti.

Food Still in Short Supply

The following is the sixth of many field reports that will be sent from our Haiti field reporter Kirk Noonan

The sun has only been up for a couple hours, but already the streets are full as Haitians go to church, flee the city, search for food and water, or sift through the rubble that once was their homes.

"The Haitian people have a history of being resilient and bouncing back from tragedies," says Steve Aldrich, missionary to Haiti who is working with Convoy of Hope. "but there remains tremendous need."

On Delmas, one of the main roads where the devastation was the worst in Port-au-Prince, people gather around vendors who are selling bread, fruit and other food products.

Flanking the street, buildings flattened like stacks of pancakes have furniture, mattresses and even bodies dangling precariously between squished levels.

"In the future, as the international community helps in this crisis, there is going to continue to be long-term need for health, food, water, and lodging," says Aldrich.

As our assessment team goes down Delmas our trucks slow to a stop because a throng of people surround the bodies of two young men in the street. Both have their hands tied behind their backs and have been executed for reasons unknown.

Tragedy and despair seem to loom over the city and its people. The bodies of the young men are a grim reminder that life in Haiti is precarious.

But a conversation yesterday with a Haitian man-who received food from Convoy of Hope-might truly reflect people's resolve and love for life.

"I'm alive and on the earth still," he said. "And our family will do whatever it takes to survive."

Getting Food to Victims in Haiti

As children and adults exit the gates at at Quisqueya Chapel-Convoy of Hope's main food distribution point in Port-au-Prince-joy and adulation seem to erupt within them in the form of wide smiles.

"Merci, merci," says one boy as he runs down a rutted road holding two bags of Feed My Starving Children food-which Convoy of Hope distributes-over his head. "Merci."

In only one week Convoy of Hope has distributed more than 294,296 meals and installed 30 water purification units. At least 1 million pounds of food and relief supplies are also in the pipeline for delivery.

"Our relief workers in Port-au-Prince are working tirelessly, and at great risk to themselves, to bring real help to the victims of this disaster," says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. "Our leaders on the ground are saying that security, fuel shortages, and a scarcity of food and water remain critical concerns."

"As we demonstrated with Katrina, the 2004 tsunami, and other disasters, we don't leave an area once the cameras disappear," said Donaldson. "We'll continue to focus on the relief and recovery effort as long as resources allow. Of course, our ongoing program of feeding 11,000 kids each day will remain a priority."

Kary Kingsland, vice president of Disaster Relief for Convoy of Hope, said the organization is increasing its fleet of vehicles and personnel on the ground to increase capacity.

Expenses are mounting, please help us increase our response.

"Having worked through many disasters, our team understands the importance of establishing supply lines and methods of transportation," he said. "Each disaster is different, but with the magnitude of destruction and devastation in Haiti, Convoy of Hope will be in the country for a long time."

That's good news for the people Convoy of Hope aims to help in the coming days, weeks and months. One Haitian man who now lives on the street with his wife and children after the earthquake destroyed their house, could be speaking for millions of Haitians, "I'm alive and we're still on the earth," he said. "So, we'll do what we can to survive."

Convoy of Hope will continue to do what it can to help the man, his family and countless others in Haiti not only to survive, but to start rebuilding. A couple bags of food and clean water is an excellent place to start doing that ... Just as the little boy who couldn't stop smiling and saying, "Merci," affirms.

Helping the hopeless

The man moved to the front of the line outside Quisqueya Chapel, Convoy of Hope's main distribution point in Port-au-Prince. He looked desperate and scared.

Clinging to his neck was his three-year-old daughter. When Paul Coroleuski, director of field services, saw the girl he told her father, "As soon as one of the beds in the clinic opens up we'll get her in."

A few minutes later the girl was on a table in the makeshift clinic, which was located in the shade of trees in the church's courtyard. The girl's breathing was labored and she was lethargic. After examining her one of the medical team members told her father to get her to a hospital immediately because her condition was beyond the range of services the clinic could address.

The man said a hospital had sent him and his daughter to the clinic, where Convoy of Hope was assisting a medical team from Mission of Hope, one of Convoy of Hope's long-time partners in Haiti.

Slowly, the man scooped up his daughter and carried her away. One of the clinic doctors said that if the girl wasn't taken to a hospital, that could meet her needs, she would be dead in a few hours.

The little girl's story is one of the many cruel realities that play out each day in Haiti. People are suffering and even dying because they cannot get the help they need.

Convoy of Hope is committed to eliminating as much death and despair as it can in Haiti. With your help we've already distributed more than 350,000 meals and installed 30 water filters that will provide clean drinking water for countless people for many years to come.

"We are absolutely amazed and extremely grateful for those who have given to Convoy of Hope so that we can meet the many needs represented in Haiti," says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. "Each day through our distribution points in Port-au-Prince we are able to make a difference in people's lives."

Donaldson notes that those who had already been giving to Convoy of Hope before the earthquake struck in Haiti played a part in helping Haitians immediately after the earthquake struck.

"Our warehouse in Haiti had just been restocked with food and supplies before the earthquake," says Donaldson. "That allowed us to begin meeting needs in Haiti immediately… That warehouse was stocked with food and supplies in part because generous donors gave sacrificially."

Convoy of Hope has 1 million pounds of food and supplies currently headed to Haiti.

"We'll send more in the coming days and weeks," says Donaldson. "We have made a long-term commitment to Haiti and we will be depending heavily on our friends to help us help Haiti."

Life and Death in Haiti

When Gary Higgins and other medical staff arrived at Quisqueya Chapel - Convoy of Hope's main distribution point in Port-au-Prince - they learned that two women were in labor and needed immediate medical attention.

After assessing the situation Higgins and another team member, who is an OB/GYN doctor, concluded that one of the women needed a caesarean section and the other was several hours from delivering.

"We knew she had issues and needed to give birth somewhere with more equipment then we had at our clinic so we found another clinic that said they could perform the c-section," says Higgins, director of international projects for Convoy of Hope who is also a paramedic. "But when we arrived at the clinic they did not have the medical equipment to do such a procedure."

Soon after arriving at the clinic the young woman went into labor and began bleeding internally. Despite Higgins and the other doctors best efforts she died. They performed CPR on the baby for several minutes but were unable to revive her.

"It's a tough situation because you are hoping to bring life in the midst of all the tragedy and chaos and then it doesn't work out that way," says Higgins.

In Haiti, not much works out the way one plans. But there are rays of hope.

Since the earthquake struck Convoy of Hope has been able to distribute more than 300,000 meals. Another 1 million pounds of food are headed for Haiti from Convoy of Hope's world distribution center.

"Corporations, organizations and individuals have stepped up in a major way to help us help Haiti," says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. "We are very thankful for those who are trusting us to bring food, relief and supplies to the victims of the earthquake."

The other pregnant woman did have her baby without any complications…Maybe in the midst of all the tragedy there is hope.

Through a network of partners and our already established points of distribution in Haiti we can get the kits into the hands of some of the 1.1 million school students in Haiti," says Ron Showers, outreach director for Convoy of Hope. "Since the earthquake struck we have been able to distribute more than 2.3 million meals, install 30 water purification units and help give medical aid to hundreds of people."

8.8 Earthquake Rocks Chile

Early Saturday morning, a massive 8.8 earthquake rocked the country of Chile. More than 100 people are confirmed dead, with that death toll expected to rise. The epicenter of the quake was off the coast of Chile, near the second largest city of Conception, triggering tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific basin.

Several tsunami waves have been reported in the Pacific, with one near the central Chile coastal town of Talcahuano reaching over 7' in height.

Santiago, Chile's capital city, lost electricity and basic services, including water and telephones. Many buildings, including regional hospitals have suffered severe damage. A major bridge connecting northern and southern Chile was rendered inoperable and the Santiago international airport has been closed.

Numerous aftershocks were felt within hours of the initial quake.

Convoy of Hope has already been in contact with partners in Chile and is making plans now to stage a response.

Convoy of Hope's major response to the earthquake in Haiti continues. More than 3.5 million meals, water filtration units, and hygiene kits have already been delivered.

Despite the media's retreat, Convoy of Hope continues to provide aid in Haiti. As long-term relief plans are laid out, the pressing needs of earthquake survivors remains a top priority for Convoy of Hope teams on the ground.

"Our meal distributions have not slowed because the need has not diminished," says Kary Kingsland, vice president of disaster response.

Help Convoy of Hope respond today.

As relief continues, numbers are beginning to mount. Working with teams and partners on the ground, Convoy of Hope has distributed 6.5 million meals to three-quarter million Haitians.

The earthquake that struck on January 12 only lasted about 35 seconds but it will take years to rebuild Haiti. "As an organization we are committed to meeting immediate and long-term needs," says Kingsland. "There are certain ways we are responding that achieve both efforts." Convoy of Hope has already installed 325 water filtration units with a plan to install 4,000 in the coming days, weeks and months. By training locals to operate and install the units, Convoy of Hope provides clean water today… and tomorrow.

Still, the basic need for food and water in Haiti is immense.

Convoy of Hope Teams Headed to Chile

Convoy of Hope teams are headed to Chile to assess damage, coordinate relief efforts and provide clean water for victims of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the South American country last Saturday.

"Our team is headed in with 40 water systems that collectively have a maximum capacity of over 19,000 gallons." says Kary Kingsland, vice president of disaster response.

More than 700 people died in the earthquake and it is estimated that more than 500,000 homes have been destroyed.

"There are still areas of Chile where there is not a clear accounting for how many people have died or were injured," says Kingsland. "The need is great and our teams will acquire resources in country to help meet the needs of those effected by the earthquake."

According to Kingsland tents, blankets, food and water are in high demand.

Work continues in Haiti

Though some groups and agencies have scaled back their operations in Haiti, Convoy of Hope continues to meet people's needs. Since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January, the Springfield Missouri-based organization has distributed more than 8.2 million meals and thousands of hygiene kits.

"We have given nearly 1 million people in and around Port-au-Prince life-sustaining food and water," says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. "Many of the Haitian people are still suffering and the need for food, clean water and proper shelter will be on-going issues for many months to come."

As part of Convoy of Hope's relief and recovery operations more than 2,000 water purification units have also been installed in schools, homes and churches throughout Haiti. In addition, Convoy of Hope and Culligan have placed two large water purification systems that can provide 15,000 gallons of clean water each day. More water purification units are slated for installation in the near future.

Items such as kitchen sets, mattresses, crutches, sleeping bags, blankets and tents have also been distributed.

Though much has been done, says Donaldson, there are even more opportunities for Convoy of Hope to serve. "Right now, we have an opportunity to expand our children's feeding programs in Haiti by tens of thousands of hungry children each day," he says.

A three-year strategy for Haiti

It's been three months since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. More than 200,000 people were killed and 1 million were left homeless. Though the weeks since the earthquake have been trying for the Haitian people, your generosity has given countless families in Haiti the strength to move forward and rebuild their lives.

For that, I thank you. By partnering with us you have enabled us to:

Provide more than 8.5 million meals

Serve 1 million people

Distribute 4 million of pounds of food, water filters, hygiene kits and other supplies to Earthquake survivors.

Before the earthquake struck, we were already feeding 11,000 school children each day in Haiti. Part of our three-year strategy is to expand our children's feeding initiative to 45,000 kids.

The daily meal we provide is sometimes the only food these children receive. In other words, when we feed children, we play a part in keeping them in school where they are learning to read, write and do math. It's a worthwhile investment because the children of Haiti are the future of Haiti.

Another part of our three-year strategy is to continue sending food, water filters, shoes, hygiene kits and other supplies to Haiti. These valuable resources will not only help us expand our feeding initiative, but they will help our partners expand their work, too.

We've also committed to helping rebuild schools and community centers so that the Haitian people can become more self-sufficient. By equipping the people with tools, training and resources, we are ensuring they have the means to live better lives.

Our promise to you is that with your continued help we will remain in Haiti feeding hungry children and helping their families and communities for many years to come.

Thanks for caring enough to make a difference in our world.

Hal Donaldson

President of Convoy of Hope

What to Do After...

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Immediately After a Disaster

How do I?

Find my family

Get food HYPERLINK "http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/foodandwater.shtm"&HYPERLINK "http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/foodandwater.shtm" water

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What precautions should I take when returning home?

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Mitigation Best Practices and Case Studies - A collection of illustrated stories about mitigation ideas, activities, or projects, including funding sources that protects both people and property from future devastating losses.

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Water

How Much Water do I Need?

How Should I Store Water?

If You are Preparing Your Own Containers of Water

Filling Water Containers

How Much Water do I Need?

You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.

Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:

Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.

Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.

Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.

A medical emergency might require additional water.

How Should I Store Water?

To prepare safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it.

Observe the expiration or "use by" date.

If You are Preparing Your Own Containers of Water

It is recommended you purchase food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage. Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Follow directions below on filling the container with water.

If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles - not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.

If storing water in plastic soda bottles, follow these steps

Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.

Filling Water Containers

Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water.Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place. Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.

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