Japan earthquake and tsunami: One-year update - March 2012

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The Red Cross Response

Japan is an earthquake-prone country that was well prepared for disaster, with tsunami early warning systems and community disaster drills in place before the earthquake and tsunami struck. This foresight and investment in preparedness did, in fact, save hundreds of thousands of lives. However, the massive wave’s impact was greater than anything previously imagined, killing an estimated 19,000 people. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless and lives were changed forever.

Providing Critical Emergency Services and Shelter

Within the first few hours, the Japanese Red Cross responded with—

• Emergency distributions of food, emergency kits, blankets and supplies;

• Skilled medical teams that provided health and emergency medical services; and

• Volunteers who provided emotional support, supported the operation of shelters, cared for the elderly, and helped with cleanup efforts.

During those initial days, the American Red Cross also responded with—

• An initial $10 million to support Japanese Red Cross response activities;

• Three experienced disaster specialists who served as advisors to the Japanese Red Cross;

• An additional $1.5 million to support the logistics efforts of the World Food Programme and the foreign national repatriation efforts of the International Organization for Migration;

• Logistical support and comfort to more than 7,800 U.S. military families during a voluntary departure from Japan following the disaster; and

• Preparedness information and shelter readiness in the U.S. in the initial hours after the earthquake as the tsunami wave approached Hawaii and the West Coast.

American Red Cross
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also supplies nearly half of the nation's lifesaving blood. This, too, is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross to find out about upcoming blood drives. © Copyright, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.