WASHINGTON — The American Red Cross stands ready and willing to assist following a magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami that affected other countries in the Pacific region.
The Japanese Red Cross Society has extraordinary disaster response capabilities, and has mobilized 11 teams to heavily damaged communities to provide assessments and first aid and prepare to supply emotional support and relief.
The American Red Cross is in communication through its global partners with the Pacific nations that sustained the most damage, and stands ready to provide assistance as needed. To date, the Red Cross has not received any requests for blood from the Japanese Red Cross, the Japanese government or the U.S. State Department.
With potential danger headed to the West Coast of the U.S., Red Cross chapters are on alert and stand ready to provide assistance as needed in their communities in coordination with local and federal response partners.
Red Cross warehouses in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands), California, Washington and Hawaii are mobilizing resources; and approximately 100 mobile feeding vehicles are on standby. Evacuation shelters are open with additional locations on standby in Oregon, Washington and California.
The Red Cross does not collect blood in Hawaii but has reached out to other blood collection agencies to offer services and is on standby to support any blood needs across the mainland as well.
The best way to contact or locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Japan is to contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has offered to assist Japan with restoring family links.
In addition, with ongoing evacuations in the United States, the Red Cross Safe and Well website is a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies like tsunamis.
There are several easy ways to register yourself or search for a loved one on the website: from a computer, visit www.redcross.org, from a smartphone visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell or from any phone, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for help registering.
Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org and donate to “Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami.” People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.