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The Haitian Earthquake


Coping with the Emotional Aftershock of the Haitian Earthquake

The international community has been deeply saddened by the reports and images of human suffering resulting from the devastating earthquake in Haiti.  There is a large and vibrant Haitian community in New Jersey with family, friends and other close ties to Haiti for whom this is an extremely difficult and challenging time. While there is extensive physical damage throughout Haiti, the emotional impact of this tragedy is also very real and powerful, both in Haiti and in Haitian communities throughout New Jersey and across the country.

Seeking Support
During this time of sadness, fear and anxiety, there are many resources of emotional support available. If you or someone you know if experiencing distress or feeling overwhelmed by painful emotions related to the Haitian earthquake experienced crisis counselors can be reached at New Jersey MentalHealthCares' Disaster Mental Health Helpline, toll free at (877) 294-HELP (4357). A TTY line is also available at (877) 294-4356.

If you are trying to locate or find information about a family member in Haiti who is a U.S. citizen, the U.S. Department of State has a special phone line:

For missing U.S. citizen family members, call 1-888-407-4747.
Giving Support
Many humanitarian organizations have mobilized to provide relief and recovery assistance. Volunteers are being cautioned not to “self-deploy” to Haiti due to the scarcity of safe lodging and basic supplies. Instead, please contact one of the organizations listed below to find the best way to help.

Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. SATERN has volunteers that have been monitoring Ham radios all night for info coming from the area. Should anyone be looking to locate a loved one or get any info on someone they can register at and go to "health and welfare registry".    
Russ Hendrickson.      KC2VFH

Church World Service will only accept financial donations and they can be made online at

UMCOR (United Methodist Church) will be responding to Haiti's survivors through our international unit, and our United Methodist Volunteers in Mission will likely plan to assist with rebuilding projects in the future.

American Red Cross – At present, the Red Cross is not accepting volunteers to travel to Haiti. If you would like to volunteer for the American Red Cross, please contact your local chapter.

You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Donations to the International Response Fund can be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at

You can also donate directly from your cell phone, by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross, charged to your cell phone bill. Or visit InterAction to contribute.

Catholic Relief Services (sister agency to Catholic Charities) – Currently has an office on the ground.  Contact Information:

Tzu Chi Foundation - Gathering relief goods from neighboring countries. Tzu Chi team members and the medical team are on standby. The relief team will be on the road once the travel plan is finalized. They are continuing to communicate with their local contact and are gathering relief information. They will post all the related relief efforts on their web site

United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund,   Gifts to the Fund support long-term recovery efforts to rebuild lives and infrastructure devastated by disaster and to address educational, financial and health-related challenges.  Indicate that donation is for Haiti earthquake.

The American Red Cross: 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish),


Doctors Without Borders:

The Center for International Disaster Information ( also has a listing of credible international emergency response agencies and charities.  It contains good information for people who wish to help and also sets realistic expectations for those unfamiliar or not experienced in international relief work.  It also provides an opportunity for those with specific skills to register on a database.
Printed Materials for You and Your Group or Organization...

Brochures:  Coping with the Emotional Impact of Disasters: Helping Yourself & Others   [pdf]
  Be Red Cross Ready: Taking Care of Your Emotional Health after a Disaster - English  [pdf]   Creole  [pdf]

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress:

1.  Disaster Related Deaths & Infection - Truth, Myth, or in Between
2.  Disasters & Poverty
3.  Managing a Workplace After a Disaster
4.  Managing Concerns About the Dead or Missing
5.  Haiti: Facts Important to Disaster Response & Recovery

SAMHSA:  Psychological First Aid for First Responders

Florida Crisis Consortium (Supported by the Florida Department of Health):
1.  Age-Appropriate Reactions & Specific Interventions for Children &
     Adolescents Experiencing a Traumatic Incident
2.  Common Reactions to Stress & Tips to Cope

The Psychological Aftershocks: How Will Haitians Cope? - Health News - 

Cultural and Clinical Care for Haitians

Mental Health in Haiti: A Literature Review (World Health Organization)
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