In two recent earthquake relief deployments to Haiti, HELP provided solar powered satellite communications and situational awareness for search and rescue teams, mobile medical clinics, emergency telemedicine, and for other non-governmental relief agency response.
Sometimes the critical relief needed is actually to keep emergency responders on the site and on the job. This was especially true during the first few weeks following the quake in Haiti. Fatigue, dehydration and post traumatic stress (PTSD) were taking their toll on the rescue teams frantically digging to rescue and recover bodies from the completely collapsed site of the Hotel Montana. Several had to be airlifted out of the country.
Working amidst the horrific carnage, crews needed to stay constantly hydrated in the extremely hot and humid conditions. The pungent smell of death was inescapable. Family members gathered at the site for word on loved ones still trapped beneath the rubble. Often the news was not good. From the very young to the very old, nearly a quarter million souls, silenced in a few short terrifying moments.
Power and communications were all but non-existent. But that's nothing new to HELP. We brought in the rapidly deployable solar powered satellite communications I designed, capable of sustained operation in just this kind of situation. Good for high qualkity audio/video communications as well as high speed web access.
With tools such as Twitter, GIS text messaging and tools like Google's "USHAHIDI" our teams were able to target people and groups in need of water, food and medical assistance. In fact the "Helping Hands Mission Orphanage" in Port-au-Prince was down to their last couple bags of rice and beans and were struggling to find clean water when we learned of their plight on Twitter. The American Director of the orphanage who was on site when the quake hit and had struggled ever since to find help was relieved when our team showed up with food, a water truck and a water purification system capable of treating over 500 gallons of water per hour. CLICK HERE FOR SHORT VIDEO - ORPHANAGE DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS ABOUT OUR TEAM'S EFFORTS