Charities Respond To Disaster In Pacific

March 13, 2011 Updated Mar 13, 2011 at 7:49 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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Credit: photo courtesy CNN.com

Charities Respond To Disaster In Pacific

March 13, 2011 Updated Mar 13, 2011 at 7:49 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY, March 11, 2011 – ( release) 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. Anyone wishing to support those efforts should go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan and Pacific Tsunami. People can also donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

The Japanese Red Cross Society has extraordinary disaster response capabilities, and has mobilized eleven 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 United States, 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 Safe and Well 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.

For the very latest information on the American Red Cross response to the Japanese Earthquake and Pacific tsunami, please visit http://newsroom.redcross.org/.

The Greater Buffalo Chapter is not currently deploying anyone to the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Staff and volunteers are ready to respond to this and any disaster, including potential flooding locally and across New York State this weekend. For more information on how you can Join Us as a volunteer or a financial donor, please visit www.buffaloredcross.org or call the Greater Buffalo Chapter at (716) 886-7500.

About the American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter:
The American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter prepares for and responds to community disasters and emergencies and helps people lead safe and healthy lives. In the past year alone, the Greater Buffalo Chapter provided over 700 individuals with food, shelter and clothing after a fire, trained over 36,000 people how to prepare for an emergency, assisted nearly 300 service members and their families, and trained over 32,000 people in lifesaving skills.

The Greater Buffalo Chapter also provides services to senior and family care givers, along with transportation and housing support to persons living with HIV/AIDS. The Red Cross is a charitable organization-not a government agency– and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission.

The Salvation Army issued this release to Eyewitness News:

Salvation Army in Japan Begins Earthquake Response
Buffalo, NY (March 11, 2011 at 2:20pm)

THE Salvation Army in Japan is responding to the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation to the north of the country. Communication and travel have been badly hit by the disaster, and at the moment the true cost in human life and property can only be guessed.

The most damaged city is Sendai, about 400 kilometres away from Tokyo. Commissioner Makoto Yoshida, leader of The Salvation Army's Japan Territory, was at territorial headquarters in Tokyo and reports: 'Our building swayed tremendously. It was hard for us to keep standing and many of us were really frightened.'

He adds: 'We are sending a team to Sendai tonight [11 March] and tomorrow we will start providing the basic necessities as well as assessing the level of damage so we can decide what else we can do.'

Public transport in Tokyo stopped because of the earthquake, leaving many commuters unable to leave work. Commissioner Yoshida says: 'We opened our hall on the ground floor of territorial headquarters to those who could not go home. We served them with hot drinks and packed meals.'
Credit card donations for this effort may be made by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Additionally, donors may text the word "Quake" or "Japan" to 80888 to make a $10 gift for disaster relief through The Salvation Army World Services Office. Direction on where donors may send checks in support of this effort is forthcoming.

As we receive new information, we will keep you updated.

To learn more about The Salvation Army Buffalo Area Services or to make a donation, visit www.buffalosalvationarmy.org.