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The Department of Commerce Mobilizes to Assist Relief Efforts in Haiti

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, January 15, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

The Department of Commerce Mobilizes to Assist Relief Efforts in Haiti

The U.S. Department of Commerce is assisting in the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti that have been underway since Wednesday’s devastating earthquake. In addition, the Department has formed a task force to assess how it can further deploy resources and help in the eventual reconstruction efforts of the Caribbean nation.

“In response to President Obama’s pledge of support, the U.S. Department of Commerce has mobilized resources to assist the Haitian people,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to take action and work with the public and private sector to provide aid and help the Haitian government and the people of Haiti as they deal with the horrific aftermath of this earthquake.”

The Department’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA), at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard, is sending a multi-tiered disaster response team to Haiti to conduct emergency maritime surveys and damage assessment imagery of key Haitian ports to ensure that waterways are safe for navigation and the transport of relief supplies.

In addition, NOAA is providing weather and water forecasts for staging areas in Guantanamo Bay Cuba and Miami. NOAA's satellites are providing continuous weather imagery for Haiti. Teams will also help assess chemical and oil spills and assist in recovery efforts.

Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is expediting the licensing process to speed up the export of humanitarian items, and search and rescue equipment to Haiti.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has informed all Federal departments and agencies that plan to use radio equipment in Haiti that they should send their spectrum requirements to the Joint Frequency Management Office - United States Southern Command (JFMO-SOUTHCOM).

The Census Bureau has numerous resources providing demographic and socioeconomic information about Haitians living in the United States and about Haiti itself: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/emergencies/index.html.

For more information on the effort and what you can do to help, visit the White House’s site on earthquake relief at www.whitehouse.gov and www.state.gov.