Rebecca Gustafson works for USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), and has written a great post on USAID’s blog about the work being done to save lives and alleviate suffering caused by the earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22.
Knowing there is significant search and rescue capacity in the region that is best placed to assist in Christchurch, I went to work Tuesday morning thinking it would be another busy day in the office. It is a good thing I am always packed and ready to deploy because I and five of my OFDA colleagues were headed to Christchurch just after noon.
We are meeting up with the Los Angeles County Urban Search and Rescue team and then heading directly into Christchurch. Once on the ground, we will immediately go into rescue mode. Our Urban Search and Rescue team will join forces with the Urban Search and Rescue personnel from New Zealand and other international teams they train with all year to assure that every place a survivor might be found is thoroughly searched.
You can follow Rebecca’s work on Twitter at @DARTgirl.
If you need—or can provide—information about the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in Christchurch. Please email the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand at firstname.lastname@example.org.