Japan Disaster: How to Help

The reports out of Japan are overwhelming, but you can help with a simple text.

Japan Disaster: How to Help

The reports out of Japan are overwhelming, but you can help with a simple text.

-April Daniels Hussar

Japan earthquake

The images and reports coming out of Japan right now are beyond horrifying, with the death toll expected to reach 10,000 souls and climbing. Not only was the initial earthquake devastating, but the aftermath continues to rage – first tsunamis and now, perhaps most frightening of all, multiple nuclear reactors face meltdowns. As of this posting, there have been at least two major hydrogen explosions and 180,000 people are being evacuated because of radiation fears in Soma, Japan.

I can’t even begin to imagine the horrifying reality of those affected – something I seem to find myself saying a lot these days, as disasters (natural and otherwise) strike the world, from 9-11 to Hurricane Katrina to Haiti to the BP spill they’re still cleaning up. Are there more disasters now? Or is it just that the world really is smaller, and we feel the impact of nightmares that happen around the world as much as those that happen in our own country?

Here’s a brief glimpse of the situation in Japan (and then some easy ways to help):

TheDailyBeast.com has a slideshow of photos here , like the one above of a mother and her children at a shelter in Sendai, this one of officials in protective gear checking a child for radiation:

Japan earthquake radiation
Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters / Landov

… And this one of Natori City in northeastern Japan March 11, 2011:

Japan earthquake fire
Photo: Kyodo / Landov

This raw footage AP clip give a look at how terrifyingly fierce the tsunami waves were:


CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Anderson Cooper about the scene on the ground in Japan and radiation concerns:

And, now, here’s how you can help:


*The Red Cross has of course already launched efforts in Japan. Visit Redcross.org or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.

*Save the Children’s Children’s Emergency Fund will support the effort in Japan. To text your donation to Save the Children, text “JAPAN” or “TSUNAMI” to 20222 to donate $10.


*The Red Cross has also launched a campaign on Causes to raise at least $25,000 for relief efforts. By logging in to Facebook, you can donate anywhere from $10 to $500 to help Tsunami victims and their families. (via Mashable.com)


*Charity watchdog Charity Navigator has published donating tips and a list of charities responding. It will continue to update that list as the group learns of more charities assisting with the relief efforts.

*Doctors Without Borders  is assisting “in the massive government-led relief effort.” Make an online donation to support these efforts. (via USAToday.com)

*For those with friends and relatives in Japan, Google has set up a Person Finder for anyone who is looking for or knows the whereabouts of someone.

For more ways to help, check out this The New York Times comprehensive list.

It can be overwhelming to think about the devastation, and it feels like our small donations are useless drops in the bucket, but they’re not. We do what we can.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Japan.

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