Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update on Relief Efforts in Japan from Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones

Watching the tragic images unfold in Japan over these past few days has been unbearable. So many millions of people are suffering tremendous loss…of their precious loved ones, their homes and even their homeland.

While it may seem like we’re powerless to help from a world away, we’re really not. In this update, I’ll share with you all of the ways that we can help from right here in our own homeland.

Before we get to that though, I was to ask you to think about your own personal state of readiness. Do you have a disaster supply kit packed and ready to go today? What about a family communication plan? These tools can save your life so jump on www.redcross.org/beredcrossready if you need help getting a preparedness plan started.

Please know that all of us at the American Red Cross are heartsick over the catastrophic events in Japan. That’s why we’re working around the clock to raise funds for our neighbors and friends to the east. And you’ve been right there with us every step of the way. We can’t thank you enough for caring so much for others. Please accept our deepest gratitude and let me know if you have any questions that I don’t answer in this update.

Warmest regards,
Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones

American & Japanese Red Cross Relationship

The American Red Cross and the Japanese Red Cross have a long and valued relationship. The American Red Cross supported Japan after the 1995 Kobe earthquake and in turn, they helped the American Red Cross following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

We have been in close contact with our colleagues in the Pacific region to offer our support, and the American Red Cross deployed a disaster management expert Sunday from its Washington, D.C., headquarters to Japan for a week-long mission. She is serving on a seven-person, international team focused on providing high-level support and advice to the Japanese Red Cross.

The Japanese Red Cross is a highly experienced disaster relief organization with 2 million volunteers. These local volunteers in Japan are distributing relief items, making sure displaced people are offered hot meals, clearing debris and providing medical transportation. The Japanese Red Cross has also deployed 95 medical teams, made up of more than 700 people, including doctors and nurses.

One Million Raised in Text Donations

As of Sunday afternoon (March 13), the American Red Cross had raised approximately $7.8 million for the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response with more than $1.1 million in text donations.

WFAA/Channel 8 Telethon

This week, WFAA/Channel 8 will be supporting the Red Cross by holding a three-day telethon in support of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts. The phone bank will be manned by volunteers from the Dallas Area Chapter during the evening newscast March 15-17.

How You Can Help

Officials from the Japanese Red Cross have indicated they would be grateful for donations from the American Red Cross to support their earthquake and tsunami response. Those who want to help can go to http://www.redcross.org and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to support our disaster relief efforts in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Top Headlines

Gail McGovern On Relief Efforts In Japan
Monday night, Gail McGovern, American Red Cross president and CEO, talked to CNN's Piers Morgan about the relief effort in Japan. Read more

How To Find Loved Ones In Japan
With thousands of missing people in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, families are anxiously looking for information about their loved ones. Read more

Red Cross Launched Call Center to Help Separated Loved Ones
On Saturday, the Dallas Area Chapter supported the Earthquake/Tsunami relief efforts by staffing a call center at the Red Cross location in McKinney, Texas. The Response Center Network is an extension of our national headquarters operation and it's activated when a disaster overwhelms the capacity of any one call center. Our volunteers manned the phone lines as desperate family members were trying to reach their loved ones believed to be in Japan. Our teams helped these families get to the www.icrc.org/familylinks website where they could register or search for a missing person. The list is painful to view, and grows rapidly every day. Read more about our call center

Gabrille Giffords Honorary Save-a-Life Saturday
The tragedy in Japan reminds us how important it is to be prepared for a disaster. On Saturday, March 19th, the American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter will offer free lifesaving training in honor of Gabrille Giffords and those impacted by the tragedy in Tucson earlier this year. Read more

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