The events that have transpired in Japan since last week - earthquake, tsunami, aftershocks, and potential nuclear destruction - are unreal. There is no need to mention or reference the catastrophic consequences that have incurred; you’ve seen the media coverage. How this could happen to resilient people in a booming country on the forefront of technology and design is the question. There is no veritable answer, but I do know one thing…Japan needs help.
There are statistics surfacing about the amount of aid received in the wake of the tragedy. The numbers don’t compare to the aid given to Haiti or to New Orleans. And that’s a shame. I’m not sure if it’s because Japan is more developed, or if it has to do with race, or if it’s connected to the economic relations with China. I don’t know, but the discussion of the geopolitics of disaster relief shouldn’t even be happening. We have an increasing responsibility to watch out for our worldwide brethren, whether they’re in our neighborhood or not. The internet and widening economies have broken down barriers, making us a globalized generation, a singular community, one unified people. We participate in world culture every day; our lifestyles prove this. I’m typing on a keyboard made in Taiwan, wearing a hoodie made in Los Angeles, listening to a song made by a group in the UK. Boom.
So lay your judgments and assumptions down, and just help.
AMERICAN RED CROSS: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. This disaster is on a scale larger than the Japanese Red Cross can typically manage. Donations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help.
GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities.
GOOGLE CRISIS RESPONSE: This page is being updated continuously to provide the latest information about this crisis, resources for those affected, and ways to contribute to relief efforts in Japan.
photo by b.fabros