Funeral Industry News

NFDA Releases Statement Regarding Haiti Earthquake

January 15, 2010

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NFDA Releases Statement Regarding Haiti Earthquake

imageThe members of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) join with the world community in expressing their heartfelt sympathies to those affected by the earthquake that devastated the island nation of Haiti on January 12.

Numerous members of NFDA have expressed interest in traveling to Haiti to assist with DMORT operations and to help local funeral directors preserve the dignity of those who died. At this time, NFDA staff is working with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Haitian Consulate to determine the type of assistance needed from the funeral service community and when it might be safe to travel to Haiti. Unfortunately, all communication with Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital and hardest hit by the earthquake, has been cut off. In addition, NFDA has been unable to reach an NFDA-member firm located near the capital.

Therefore, NFDA members interested in volunteering in Haiti should call the association at 800-228-6332 (262-789-1880). NFDA staff is collecting members? contact information in order to keep interested parties abreast of ways they might be able to assist the federal government and funeral service professionals in Haiti, should their service prove necessary. If you contact NFDA, please indicate if you hold a valid passport and how long you are willing to serve, as well as an email address or cell phone number to assist in rapid communication. Members should not travel to the affected areas on their own as conditions are severe; participating in a coordinated effort will make for an effective response to the needs of the Haitian people.

In addition, funeral directors should not contact Haitian funeral directors about shipping bodies once communication is restored. Haitian funeral directors in the affected areas have their own struggles now, and cannot accept bodies at this time.