Portlight's plan for Haiti

By: Floodman , 4:55 AM GMT on January 14, 2010

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There is no pretty way to put this: the earthquake in Haiti will make all recent disasters in this part of the world pale by comparison, especially in the human toll. We've all seen the initial video and photos; the destruction is unimagninable. We at Portlight provide relief for ignored or under-served victims of disasters of all kinds and the Haitian earthquake will be no exception. Our goal is to provide relief for the disabled survivors of the disaster, though we will turn no one away.

To accomplish our goals we will need all the help we can get from volunteers here and in Haiti and through donations made to Portlight, be they food, medical supplies, clothing or money.

We plan to address this disaster with a three-pronged attack, starting with the most essential needs first:

1. Water Supplies

The earthquake has destroyed what infrastructure was in place before; we have 6 self-contained water treatment/filtration systems that can provide water for 3500 people each daily.

Self-contained water treatment/filtration systems


Self-contained water treatment/filtration system

It costs $1200 each to ship them; we have the funds currently to ship 2 with more donations coming in all the time. We need your help; keep the PayPal button firing at Portlight so that we can get all of these systems shipped and in operation as soon as possible. Our goal is to have these systems operational within a few days so your help is crucial!

2. Durable and Emergency Medical Supplies and Equipment

We have received numerous donations of medical supplies and we have a great deal warehoused; we are currently getting our warehoused goods assembled for transport to Haiti. The first push of this part of the relief will be medical supplies and mechanical goods for the disabled there, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers and many other items too numerous to mention here. Again, the goal is to get these materials on the ground and in place within a few days so we will need your help!

3. Establishing, Staffing and Maintaining Shelters/Clinics

Paul Timmons has been in contact with the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur to get some idea as to the extent of the damage and to gauge the need; with most of Port Au Prince in ruins, the need for shelter is paramount. While we have received donations of medical equipment and offers from the Sisters to help in staffing these shelters, we are asking for volunteers to help staff the shelters. This is a long term commitment by Portlight and we ask that only people serious about helping in the shelters volunteer.

Please remember that any donation, no matter how small will help in this time of great need; you can make donations to Portlight at our website:

www.portlight.org

Or by check (made payable to Portlight Strategies) sent by post to

Portlight Strategies, Inc.
2043 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412

I will be on the Barometer Bob show on Thursday January 14th at 9PM EST to discuss the Portlight strategy and where we are currently, so tune in!

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26. AwakeInMaryland
6:16 AM GMT on January 16, 2010
That's les troisiemme dames ... I'm not allowed to speak French on Amy's blog.

Just your Little Sister of Perpetual Revenge dropping by, Flood.

Please pace yourself and don't overdo it, for the sake of your back and LST! Unfortunately, the h*ll-hole known as Haiti will need help for a long time.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
25. NRAamy
11:41 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
thanks Jerry...you always have answered my questions in the past, and make it very easy for me to understand...even when you're drivin' that train....

;)

P.S. Las Tres Mujeres are going to have a conference call this weekend...NO, look out!!!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 319 Comments: 31956
24. Floodman
11:33 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Flood,

Granted I have never experienced "true hunger" or starvation, but I cannot understand how anyone, man or woman could trample or push children out of the way. I fear we will see increased violence as the desperation increases. Hopefully, the military can create a sense of order in a terribly chaotic situation.


The problem here is not so mucch that the strong are all that hungry; it's that they know that food is power right now. A lot of these thingfs are happening through the avarice of a few. It happens in situations where the culture at the top (politically) is inherently corrupt; now don't get me wrong, I''m not saying that all the leaders are corrupt, but it's much like the leadership of Louisiana where there is a culture of corruption. It started in Louisiana long before him, but Huey P. Long epitomized it; the population is so ingrained with it that when the governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards, was convicted of corruption, caught red-handed taking bribes, the populace was in mourning...the culture in Haiti is harder edged, meaner
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
23. Floodman
11:26 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Quoting NRAamy:
thanks Jerry...I know that Portlight and others are doing all they can to help, and that it must be very frustrating right now....I just didn't, and don't, understand the whole situation in Haiti, so, it was difficult to try and explain why help is taking so long to get there...


You can ask me at anytime what's going on and I will explain to the best of my ability
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
22. Beachfoxx
9:48 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Flood,

Granted I have never experienced "true hunger" or starvation, but I cannot understand how anyone, man or woman could trample or push children out of the way. I fear we will see increased violence as the desperation increases. Hopefully, the military can create a sense of order in a terribly chaotic situation.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29391
21. Floodman
9:43 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Well said Floodman...
When I lived in GA, we also had a large garden. We gave a lot of the surplus food away. One year we were overly ambitious and could not pick all the veggies, so we asked a poor family if they wanted to work in the garden for food. (We knew that they would not take a "hand out") They picked as much food as they could can and freeze in trade for helping us out. We had so many vegetables, tomatoes, corn, etc. With out their help food would have rotted away in the garden. So we both benefited.

Getting the food into the hands of the Haitians who most need it is already proving to be difficult. It was just reported that a couple of organizations who were distributing food & supplies were basically mobbed, people initially were patient, then the crowds began pushing and the mobs started... forcing the trucks to retreat. Women and children were pushed out of the way as the stronger grabbed for the food. The challenge will be setting up distribution points that can be coordinated and set up so that the supplies can be doled out in an orderly manner.


And there you haveit; my worst fears realized. It will take a military presence I'm afraid to keep the distibution orderly and to make sure that everyone gets a share in the food. Our efforts are concentrated on setting up shelters for the disabled and in that way we hope to keepoour distributions more on a meal by meal basis; again, we won;t be able to keep to that specifically and we certainly won;t trun anyone that is hungry away, but we are currently keeping the location of our shelters "under wraps" so that no news will get in from outside and cost us a shelter...it's unfortunate that we have to operate this way, but we don't much by way of a choice in the matter. Women and children pushed out of the way by the strong? I'd be hard put not to step into that swinging
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
20. NRAamy
9:41 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
thanks Jerry...I know that Portlight and others are doing all they can to help, and that it must be very frustrating right now....I just didn't, and don't, understand the whole situation in Haiti, so, it was difficult to try and explain why help is taking so long to get there...
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 319 Comments: 31956
19. Beachfoxx
9:33 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Well said Floodman...
When I lived in GA, we also had a large garden. We gave a lot of the surplus food away. One year we were overly ambitious and could not pick all the veggies, so we asked a poor family if they wanted to work in the garden for food. (We knew that they would not take a "hand out") They picked as much food as they could can and freeze in trade for helping us out. We had so many vegetables, tomatoes, corn, etc. With out their help food would have rotted away in the garden. So we both benefited.

Getting the food into the hands of the Haitians who most need it is already proving to be difficult. It was just reported that a couple of organizations who were distributing food & supplies were basically mobbed, people initially were patient, then the crowds began pushing and the mobs started... forcing the trucks to retreat. Women and children were pushed out of the way as the stronger grabbed for the food. The challenge will be setting up distribution points that can be coordinated and set up so that the supplies can be doled out in an orderly manner.
Quoting Floodman:


Which is why we must do all that we can to help. Haiti is our neighbor, and a damned poor one at that.

When I was a kid, my dad always had a garden and we always grew more than we could possibly eat or can. Starting in late July and through September, about three times a week my dad and I would bag up vegetables and go out late at night and leave the food on the poorer folks in town's doorsteps. You couldn't do it during the day as country folk are generally too proud to take what they consider a handout. My dad taught me that charity should be anonymous and you should never take credit for it; give as you can to those that need it and move on as no act of kindness is ever wasted and these acts breed more acts of kindness.

We need to "leave some food on the doorstep" of Haiti...they need us...
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29391
17. Floodman
8:38 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Quoting NRAamy:
My husband doesn't understand why help is taking so long to get to Haiti....he didn't mean from Portlight....just help in general.....I tried to explain to him last night, but I think I did a pretty crappy job of it...can you give me an explanation ( the Cliff's Notes Version ) if you get a chance?

Basically, the infrastructure is caput and the airports are down because of the earthquake, is that it?

He wants to know why helicopters or airplanes aren't dropping supplies...

yeesh...I don't know!! ...he won't let me watch the news!!!!!!

:(


Amy, you can't "airdrop" supplies into Haiti and hope that the supplies will get to where they need to be; the strong will collect all the supplies and get stronger and the weak will miss out and become weaker. In a situation like this, there is this huge pressure on us, this sense of urgency but we can't just throw food into the air and hope it gets where it needs to go. It's killing me that people are dying by the hundreds while we wait to get everything set; that's part of the reason why we found our own way into the interior to help. If we did it, then you know others did...

Soon, but certainly not soon enough, some semblence of order will be restored and a more orderly method of getting supplies into Haiti will be available, but until then we have to hope that people hang on...it's ugly and it's bad, but it's the truth and we can't help it. I really don't want to discuss the politics of the situation, but much like the strong picking up the airdropped supplies and keeping them from the weak the past leaders of Haiti have set up this situation and we have to try to work around it.

Trust me, Portlight is doing all that we can, and I know that others are doing the same
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
16. Floodman
8:29 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:


No, I think that what you guys are concentrating on now is exactly correct. Supplies through port o prince wouldn't be a good idea at this time. They have too much to worry about as is.

Even moving further out is worth considering IMHO.

Injured Haiti earthquake victims stream across border to Dominican Republic for medical attention

Helicopters, ambulances and even pickup trucks are bringing hundreds of injured earthquake victims to a Jimani hospital, where doctors are performing everything from amputations to abdominal surgeries.

"There have been more than 500 today - so, so many," said exhausted anesthesiologist Gilberto Rojas, 50, who is from Santo Domingo.

"We have been doing so many amputations, seeing so many people with abdominal trauma," Rojas said.




This is going to take a horrible long term toll on these people.


Which is why we must do all that we can to help. Haiti is our neighbor, and a damned poor one at that.

When I was a kid, my dad always had a garden and we always grew more than we could possibly eat or can. Starting in late July and through September, about three times a week my dad and I would bag up vegetables and go out late at night and leave the food on the poorer folks in town's doorsteps. You couldn't do it during the day as country folk are generally too proud to take what they consider a handout. My dad taught me that charity should be anonymous and you should never take credit for it; give as you can to those that need it and move on as no act of kindness is ever wasted and these acts breed more acts of kindness.

We need to "leave some food on the doorstep" of Haiti...they need us...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
14. NRAamy
4:42 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
2. PcolaDan 9:36 PM PST on January 13, 2010
Added this to my Facebook. Don't have a lot of friends on it, but the grandkids do, and their on it all the time (teenagers who are into causes). :)


you have me now!

:)

Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 319 Comments: 31956
13. NRAamy
4:41 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
My husband doesn't understand why help is taking so long to get to Haiti....he didn't mean from Portlight....just help in general.....I tried to explain to him last night, but I think I did a pretty crappy job of it...can you give me an explanation ( the Cliff's Notes Version ) if you get a chance?

Basically, the infrastructure is caput and the airports are down because of the earthquake, is that it?

He wants to know why helicopters or airplanes aren't dropping supplies...

yeesh...I don't know!! ...he won't let me watch the news!!!!!!

:(
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 319 Comments: 31956
12. Beachfoxx
4:39 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Nice job Flood...
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29391
11. Floodman
4:36 PM GMT on January 15, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Hope your interview went well.

I posted what i think are the indications of a HUGE MILITARY INTERVENTION - let pat look at it - on my and surfmom's blog.

You guys may want to focus on more rural areas and alternate points of entry (as you already have) as the airport and Port area are about to be literally redone it appears.


Thanks, Jflorida; the interview went very well...as for concentrating our efforts in the countryside, our materials are coming in overland from the DR through connections that presslord and Patrap have made; we are using the established Catholic churches for distribution and shelter/clinic establishment. Bear in mind that we (Portlight) try to address the needs of the disabled above all else (though obviously we feeed anyone that's hungry and shelter anyone that needs it). The other thing to look at is that the people of Port Au Prince are starting to move into the countryside; the food in the cities has run out and the hungry will go where they feel they can find food, not to mention that the logical place to establish and build "tent cities" for the homeless will be in the countryside and close in to the cities...I feel we're in a good position to help out but again (and now I feel like the guys on PBS during a membership drive) we need money...the water treatment units cost 1200 each to ship and deliver in-country; these items have to be shipped as is and not disassembled so there's additional cost. Once the airport is cleared and re-opened shipping will ease a bit but until then we have the most viable delivery route available.

JFlorida, I will tell you what I tell everyone: you can help too. Anyone that helps Portlight has an equal share in our success; we don't do the whole title thing and we all share equllay in success AND failure. Any help you can provide will be gratefully accepted; any ideas you have will be entertained and if we can use them, we will...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
6. Patrap
4:02 PM GMT on January 14, 2010
Morning floodman,everyone..

Rev um up and Deploy,Boyz


Description: SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters assigned to Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 7 depart Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida to embark aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132802
5. Floodman
3:58 PM GMT on January 14, 2010
Quoting code1:
Very nice Flood. Other than equipment for the disabled, I am most excited about the water treatment/filtration systems. Water quality there was poor to begin with. With disease's that are sure to run rampant soon, clean water will be of utmost importance as is medical supplies.


The biggest issue, as you said, code, is fresh, clean water...not to put too fine a point on it, with the thousands of dead and the poor quality of water to begin with, this will be crucial. Do you know about cholera? It was one of the CDC's greatest fears after Katrina and it didn't come to pass, in large part due to the efforts of the authorities in cleaning up the water systems. THIS WILL NOT BE AN OPTION IN HAITI.

I'll say this: while I prefer people give to Portlight, as we have some great ideas and need the funding to put them into play, if you don't give to us, give to SOMEONE...this is a human tragedy on a scale that is hard to comprehend and if we don't help, it will become far worse...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
4. code1
11:23 AM GMT on January 14, 2010
Very nice Flood. Other than equipment for the disabled, I am most excited about the water treatment/filtration systems. Water quality there was poor to begin with. With disease's that are sure to run rampant soon, clean water will be of utmost importance as is medical supplies.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
3. Floodman
5:45 AM GMT on January 14, 2010
Quoting PcolaDan:
Added this to my Facebook. Don't have a lot of friends on it, but the grandkids do, and their on it all the time (teenagers who are into causes). :)


Outstanding Dan! Thanks!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
2. PcolaDan
5:36 AM GMT on January 14, 2010
Added this to my Facebook. Don't have a lot of friends on it, but the grandkids do, and their on it all the time (teenagers who are into causes). :)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1. LongStrangeTrip
5:19 AM GMT on January 14, 2010
Nicely done, baby. I'll be tweeting this every half-hour to hour tomorrow, and will link to it on my Facebook page. :)
Member Since: July 10, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 412

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