Governor Perry Announces Help For Haiti
January 14, 2010

Gov. Perry Sends Search and Rescue Teams to Aid Earthquake Victims in Haiti

Offers Additional Disaster Response Assistance from Texas

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today sent Texas Task Force One, the state’s elite search and rescue team, to provide assistance in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti. He also sent a letter to President Barack Obama offering additional state disaster response resources to assist emergency response teams, rescue workers and medical personnel. Since the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is leading and coordinating the U.S. response effort to this disaster, Texas must receive federal authorization before state resources can be deployed.

“In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, Texas is standing by to deliver much needed assistance and supplies to the victims of this disaster,” Gov. Perry said. “Already this morning a team of brave men and women from Texas Task Force One departed for Haiti to provide vital search and rescue assistance. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, rescue personnel and medical workers in Haiti as they continue to cope with the aftermath of this quake.”

Texas Task Force One is capable of responding to mass-casualty disasters, and is trained and equipped to locate and rescue people trapped by collapsed structures in confined space in highly populated areas.

Additional state resources available for deployment include:

Medical Personnel:

  • Medical Assessment and Coordination Team with 4 personnel from Texas A&M/University of Texas
  • TxMAT (Texas Medical Assistance Team) – 2 teams – 7 personnel each; one from TX A&M and one from Angel Staffing – 1 physician, 2 nurses, 2 paramedics, 1 respiratory care
  • Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Command Assistance Team (1 team of 7 – 10 personnel) – from DSHS central and regional staff; incident management team
  • Community Assessment Public Emergency Response Team (CASPER) 3-5 person team to augment U.S. Public Health Service

 

Medical Supplies:

  • 40 shelter push packs – support 100 people for three days with over-the-counter medications and other shelter supplies
  • 40 shelter supply augmentation kits for infection control focused on preventing infectious disease, including gloves, masks, sanitizers, etc.

 

Medical Equipment:

  • 2 mortuary refrigerated trailers with body bags and supplies

 

Baptist Child and Family Services: San Antonio (Shelter Medical):

  • Two 500 bed shelters including tents
  • 70 staff for Incident Management Team
  • 60 kilowatt generators
  • Medical staff (nurses and paramedics)
  • Communications package for satellite and local radios 

 

Texas Baptist Men:

  • Water purification equipment and personnel capable of providing drinking water for 65,000 people.    

 

Texas Military Forces Aircraft:

  • Two C-130s capable of transporting large quantities of equipment, supplies and personnel

 

TX A&M (Boat):

  • 600 foot boat capable of housing responders

 

Search and Rescue: Texas Task Force One – TX A&M (already approved by federal government for deployment):

  • Highly trained urban search and rescue team
  • 80 personnel
  • Search and rescue, K-9, logistics, communications and medical capabilities

 

Search and Rescue: Texas Task Force Two – DFW Area:

  • Highly trained personnel to augment Texas Task Force One
  • Conduct search of small structures

 

Texas-related volunteer organizations providing financial and other assistance in response to this disaster include The Salvation Army, Victim Relief Ministers, Billy Graham Ministries, Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, American Red Cross, and Baptist Child and Family Services.

To view the governor’s letter to the president, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/O-ObamaBarack20100114.pdf

For additional information on the response effort and situation in Haiti, please visit http://www.usaid.gov/

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The United States Will Send Help To Haiti Following Devastation
January 13, 2010

 

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

ON RESCUE EFFORTS IN HAITI

 Diplomatic Reception Room

 10:20 A.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  This morning I want to extend to the people of Haiti the deep condolences and unwavering support of the American people following yesterday’s terrible earthquake. 

     We are just now beginning to learn the extent of the devastation, but the reports and images that we’ve seen of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes, and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching.  Indeed, for a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible.  Our thoughts and prayers are also with the many Haitian Americans around our country who do not yet know the fate of their families and loved ones back home.

     I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives.  The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble, and to deliver the humanitarian relief — the food, water and medicine  — that Haitians will need in the coming days.  In that effort, our government, especially USAID and the Departments of State and Defense are working closely together and with our partners in Haiti, the region, and around the world. 

Right now our efforts are focused on several urgent priorities.  First, we’re working quickly to account for U.S. embassy personnel and their families in Port-au-Prince, as well as the many American citizens who live and work in Haiti.  Americans trying to locate family members in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888/407-4747.  I’m going to repeat that – 888/407-4747.

Second, we’ve mobilized resources to help rescue efforts.  Military overflights have assessed the damage, and by early afternoon our civilian disaster assistance team are beginning to arrive.  Search and rescue teams from Florida, Virginia and California will arrive throughout today and tomorrow, and more rescue and medical equipment and emergency personnel are being prepared. 

     Because in disasters such as this the first hours and days are absolutely critical to saving lives and avoiding even greater tragedy, I have directed my teams to be as forward-leaning as possible in getting the help on the ground and coordinating with our international partners as well.

     Third, given the many different resources that are needed, we are taking steps to ensure that our government acts in a unified way.  My national security team has led an interagency effort overnight.  And to ensure that we coordinate our effort, going forward, I’ve designated the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Rajiv Shah, to be our government’s unified disaster coordinator. 

     Now, this rescue and recovery effort will be complex and challenging.  As we move resources into Haiti, we will be working closely with partners on the ground, including the many NGOs from Haiti and across Haiti, the United Nations Stabilization Mission, which appears to have suffered its own losses, and our partners in the region and around the world.  This must truly be an international effort.

     Finally, let me just say that this is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share.  With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long history that binds us together, Haitians are neighbors of the Americas and here at home.  So we have to be there for them in their hour of need. 

Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I would encourage those Americans who want to support the urgent humanitarian efforts to go to whitehouse.gov where you can learn how to contribute.  We must be prepared for difficult hours and days ahead as we learn about the scope of the tragedy. We will keep the victims and their families in our prayers.  We will be resolute in our response, and I pledge to the people of Haiti that you will have a friend and partner in the United States of America today and going forward. 

May God bless the people of Haiti and those working on their behalf.

     Thank you very much.

                                             END          10:24 A.M. EST