Message from DIMRC about responding to the earthquake in Haiti

Following is a message to the Disaster Outreach Librarians listserv from Cindy Love about what is available from NLM for help with meeting some of the needs in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti.  (See the link in the right column under Core Resources to subscribe to this listserv.)

“Dear Colleagues,

I’m sure we’re all distressed by the tremendous damage to Haiti and the Haitian people caused by yesterday’s earthquake. Please post news and information to this site about the use of disaster health information and potential or actual roles of libraries, librarians, and info professionals in the earthquake’s aftermath but try not to duplicate what is widely available from CNN and other major news sources.

NLM has an Earthquake topic page on MedlinePlus in English, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/earthquakes.html,  and in Spanish, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/earthquakes.html, which you may find useful for general background information or for explaining earthquakes to children.

If there’s a need in the days ahead for patient education materials, MedlinePlus has “Health Information in Haitian Creole (Kreyol),” http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/languages/haitiancreole.html, and in French,  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/languages/french.html.  Information in multiple languages is also available from the Refugee Health Information Network, http://rhin.org. There are also many materials at NLM related to disaster recovery and long-term medical and mental health needs, but we’ll save those for another day.

Cash is the best donation for an event like this. With cash, relief organizations can acquire exactly what communities need. The White House is suggesting donations to the Red Cross, http://american.redcross.org,  with additional donation guidance from the Center for International Disaster Information, http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/.

For those curious about the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center role in an event like this, the Center does not have an emergency response role unless requested by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Operations Center. We are available to assist librarians providing information services in their institutions as their hospital, university, military unit, etc.  responds to the earthquake. For example, if a librarian needs assistance compiling medical information for a response team deploying to Haiti, we can help. To request assistance, send me an email or post to this list.

Submitted by Cindy Love

Disaster Information Management Research Center Specialized Information Services Division National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20892-5467 cindy_love@nlm.nih.gov

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