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Miyagi Earthquake: Seeking advice/brainstorm


Erk

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I used to live in one of the towns hardest hit by the earthquake that struck Japan yesterday. I'm working on coordinating a group of fellow repatriated English teachers from the area to form some kind of relief effort, even if it's just traveling "home" once the chaos subsides a little and helping rebuild for a while.

 

Given that the people of this forum represent an immense cross-section of experience and intelligence, I was wondering if anyone might have any experience with anything in this vein, or simply be able to offer advice.

 

Thank you.

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(This post reserved for updates about the effort)

 

Currently we have contacted the Japanese consulate and asked for advice on how to coordinate with local authorities. Not surprisingly we are still awaiting a reply; I am sure they're swamped.

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Sounds like a great idea, but I would not be surprised if you had to wait quite a while before hearing anything back, or being able set something up. Normally, relief efforts at first are done by local miliatry; civilians don't really get to help until all the dust settles, which I suspect will be a while.

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Sounds like a great idea, but I would not be surprised if you had to wait quite a while before hearing anything back, or being able set something up. Normally, relief efforts at first are done by local miliatry; civilians don't really get to help until all the dust settles, which I suspect will be a while.

 

Yes, we expect as much. I imagine we will be going to help rebuild homes and clean out rivers, not to dig out buildings and fix roads. It's all right: we will need the time to figure out our plan.

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You could check with The Canaidan Red Cross - they're probably all over this right now, so maybe they can offer suggestions? Or maybe they even have some volunteer positions available? If not the Red Cross, I'd imagine there are numerous organizations that will be seeking volunteers for help, so maybe they could offer more insight.

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Erk, I'm sorry to hear that so many of your friends are affected.

 

Like osteon said, the initial relief work will be taken on by the military and international aid organizations. The best thing to do in the short term is to fundraise locally to support the people on the ground who will need basic supplies to get by day-to-day.

 

Once infrastructure is restored, and food/water/shelter is available, then all of rebuilding will be taking place. I would contact your friends and ask them directly what is going on in their community. Their needs could be money, supplies, or more bodies for labour.

 

I'm sure any help you and your fellow teachers come up with will be much needed and appreciated.

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Thanks for those who sent concerns and advice.

 

Presently I am discussing relief efforts with my old City Hall; there may be work for people who can handle a shovel to muck out rice fields and things for a while, and such.

 

More to my current point: I'm also working with the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) alumni association and Miyagi prefecture on setting up a direct donation system which will allow people to donate directly to the affected cities in Japan, without going through a charity with high overheads. Would anyone here be interested in hearing more about this as it develops?

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Hi Erk,

Please feel free to PM me if you have any info on donating. I have many Japanese friends, and I spoke with one last night. She is organizing some fundraising events on campus, and will be donating through Cdn Red Cross. She thinks the overhead of 30% is high, but in my opinion, that's not that bad considering all they do.

Matbe it's because I myself run the administration of a $750,000/yr business, so I know how much work it takes, and I think I understand exactly what you're getting out of it.

 

In any case, feel free to let me know.

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