January 20th, 2010
04:58 PM ET

Gen. Honoré: Evacuate most vulnerable Haitians

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/01/20/haiti.earthquake/smlvid.five.yo.boy.cnn.jpg width=300 height=169]

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré
Special to CNN

CNN: There are reports of looting in Haiti. Is it looting, or an attempt at survival?

Gen. Russel Honoré: In the first days after a disaster, people are generally scavenging for food. They are trying to find food where they can. People are going into survival mode.

Due to challenges and logistical issues, they use the food they have and what they can get their hands on. I would use the word "looting" lightly - these people are surviving. It's reminiscent of what was seen during Katrina in the convention center. They survived because they found food in the surrounding areas.

CNN: With the potential for violence running high, how can civilians protect themselves?

Honoré: People should stay in their family groups and be with people they trust. During a disaster, in the case of not having enough communication, some of the information coming out is speculation and rumor.

The role of the military is to provide a sense of order and try to keep people from becoming too excited when food and water are distributed. They also assure that help is on the way.

Filed under: Haiti
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