It seems "the first wave emergency response" for the Haiti earthquake is over. Two weeks after the disaster, the first-responders who flew in to Haiti will slowly start to demobilize, to be replaced by new staff to stay for the next months.
At the same time, the structures of the response is now gearing for a longer term support. Teams are being reorganized, communications and facilities are being set up catering for an influx of staff and supplies, and things start to be more organised.
The main focus of our team right now is to ensure the relief supplies (for us, mainly food aid, and humanitarian cargo for other agencies) and aidworkers themselves, coming in through the Dominican Republic can go into Haiti fast.
As the office facilities in Haiti were destroyed, a new base camp and floating living quarters (a passenger ship which will anchor off Port-au-Prince) are about ready to be put in use, so our staff can move out of the make-shift tent camp. Over here, in Santo Domingo, we are setting up a supply chain (procurement and transport) to bring in food, office equipment and consumables for those accomodations and offices, so our staff has a minimum of comfort, other than a sleeping bag.
Days and nights are still merging into one. Last night, I crashed at 8 PM, exhausted after a full day of chasing security clearances, organising the '2nd wave' of support staff for our office, meetings with suppliers, the UN coordinator here, etc... I started my work day at 3 AM. Most of my time is spent on two things: organising and debugging. The first more looking to the future, and the second concentrating on adjustments in the present.
We are running well, I am proud of the team. We are ready for the second wave of the emergency response to start. A wave which will be large than the first initial response. And longer.
Picture of our team in Santo Domingo courtesy Enrique Restrepo